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Cllr Rev Ann Easter, East Ham associate minister and Queen’s Chaplain is a Robbie Burns fan

PUBLISHED: 10:30 03 February 2016 | UPDATED: 10:30 03 February 2016

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Those who don’t live in Newham might be surprised to learn that one of the highlights of our social calendar is a celebration of the life and work of the Scottish poet Robert Burns - but we have a number of proud Scots in our midst, few prouder than our Mayor, Sir Robin Wales, who led the tributes and the dancing at our Burns’ Supper recently.

Robert Burns was born on January 25, 1795, the son of an Ayrshire farmer; he farmed for a while but then went on to work for the local tax office but Robert’s (or ‘Robbie’ as he’s often called) real passions were women and poetry.

He fell in love often and fathered about 14 children by four different women; his last child was born on the day of his funeral – he was just 37.

Burns’ was an action packed life which he translated into poetry and songs which somehow communicate the essence of what it is to be human in a language transcending time and space.

Bob Dylan reckoned that Burns’ song My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose is the lyric which has had most impact on his work and which New Year’s Eve party – across the whole world – didn’t include at least one verse of Burns’ Auld Lang Syne?

My role at the supper was to recite the Selkirk Grace in a sort of Scockney accent which is the nearest I can manage; it goes

‘Some hae meat and canna eat;

Some hae nane and want it.

We hae meat and we can eat –

Then let the Lord be thanket’

And the more I’ve discovered about Robbie Burns, the more I thank God for him too! More from Ann


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