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sessed of literary powers and abilities that made his name known far and wide. He was the author of "Love and Treason," a three-volume novel which dealt with the Radical risings of the West of Scotland, which, although long "out of print," contains much that makes it still sought after by Glasgow readers. possibly "A Birth Song and other Poems" was the best literary effort of his warm heart and brilliant intellect—the poems in that volume being of a rare order and characterised throughout by felicity of expression, loftiness of thought, and purity of tone. We understand Mr Freeland has left sufficient material for another volume which we hope will yet see the light.
To those who love a genial personality, a kindly disposition, quiet, pawky humour, and never-failing courtesy, William Freeland will ever be dear, and these qualities form a fitting and life-long memorial in the heart and memory of all who knew him.
To the mourning relatives and friends, and especially to his loving helpmate and companion through many years, we would respectfully tender our warmest sympathies.
Dead? Dead? He whom our souls revered,
Not his the worldling's vexing quest―
With fierce Remorse's lurid flames,
His song, his book, his thoughts that sprang
While tuneful through his spirit rang
The chimes that owned Love's kindly sway-
There is no sign of waning interest if one may judge by the number of members who attended the Annual Meeting. True, discussions and difference of opinion existed, but this is the very life and soul of the Club. No difference of opinion, no interest. Great discussion, great interest, and so the value of the meeting must be determined by the amount of good which has been accomplished. Reports from the Secretary and Treasurer also proved that progression is being made, indeed all along the line the feeling has been one of steady growth and improvement. The election of officers filled up what was a very pleasant and memorable evening.
The Anniversary Dinner of Saturday, January 25th, will long live in the memory of the members as being the most enjoyable we have had since the inception of our Club.
Ald. G. B. Craig, Mayor of Thornaby, did us the honour of proposing the toast of the evening, "The Immortal Memory." This he did in a style which was at once stirring and interesting. We do not make enough of those speeches; we should like to have them fully reported and incorporated in this report. We were also favoured with a return visit of our esteemed Hon. Vice-President, the Rev. David Tasker, who on this occasion made a very interesting and humorous reply on behalf of "The Lasses, O.”
The Annual Scottish Concert promoted by the Club is now regarded as the musical event of the season. This is what may be expected when we have such an energetic Committee, so ably assisted by the members of the Club, each doing his best. By our co-operating with the Clubs on Tyneside, we are enabled to procure the very best Scottish talent available, and the concert of the past year was no exception.
This event falls to be chronicled in this report, although it was really held on St. Andrew's Eve, Friday, November 29th, 1901, in Mr Wetherell's Rooms. The gathering was in every way most enjoyable. The duties of M.C.'s were carried through by Messrs Shaw, Lyness, and Neilson. Mrs Potts provided the refreshments, and the music was from Mr Fred Wood's band.
This summer outing seems to be fading into obscurity. The cause may be the three months' recess during June, July, and August, which makes it difficult to get the members together. I know the difficulties which must be met, but I should like to suggest a visit to the Scott Country," or, even better, to that most hallowed spot, dear to every Scotsman-Dumfries.
In again drawing the attention of our members to this publication, we would like to say that we do not support it as we ought. Orders may now be given to the Secretary for the forthcoming issue, which promises to maintain its usual high standard of literary excellence.
We are now within a measurable distance of obtaining a real, sound, and active list of members. This is what we want, men who feel they have a heartfelt interest in the working of our Club and the spreading of a love for Burns, Scott, and all that has made Scotland and Scotsmen great.
It is with extreme regret that we draw the attention of the members to the loss the Club has sustained by the death of two members, the late Captain James Henderson and Mr Richard Aisbett.
It was not the privilege of the former to attend our meetings, being prevented by illness, nevertheless he had a keen interest in the doings of the Club. IIe was a Scot in the truest sense of the word. Our late member, Mr Aisbett, was a regular attender at our meetings till his health gave way. He was a Burns enthusiast, and was in his glory when repeating selections from the works of the Poet. The sympathy of the members was conveyed to the relatives of the deceased gentlemen.
M. NEILSON, Hon. Secy.
LONDON ROBERT BURNS CLUB-HALLOWE'EN Dinner, 31ST OCTOBER, 1903.
SPEECH DELIVERED BY PRESIDENT, J. CLIFFORD BROWN. LADIES AND Gentlemen,
"Years come and go," says the poet, but so regular, and so silent does time pass, that we require landmarks and red letter days to remind us of its flight. Birthdays, Christmases, and New Years are milestones on life's march, marking our progress to the universal terminus.
Surely Hallowe'en, noting, as it does, the end of another summer and harvest time, and the advent of another winter, may be regarded as one of those reminders which we do well to commemorate.
Past presidents and proposers of this toast have time after time expatiated_ on Hallowe'en and its associations, and we have heard over and over again of the "dookin'" for apples, of the "puin'" o' kail stalks, of the burnin' o' nuts, of the dirty and clean plates, etc., and so I will leave all that alone—and yet, why should I leave alone those innocent enjoyments that cheered us when we were boys, merry, merry boys together." No, as a Scotsman, I must speak of them, and once again bask in love's young dream.
To the elder members of the Burns Club it would be an insult to refer to the "Ayrshire ploughman's" vivid description of the rural Hallowe'en of his day, which it is evident he did most thoroughly enjoy. It is not only at the witching time of life, when youth is at the prow and pleasure at the helm, that Hallowe'en appeals to us. From earliest childhood we have regarded the festival as connected with some of our happiest hours, and I cannot but recall to those present, who like myself have had the delightful experience of his first turnip lantern (if pilfered from a farmer's field so much the better), for stolen waters (aye and turnips) are aye sweetest, and then the pleasure of cutting off the lid, and hollowing out the lamp, meanwhile gorging the contents with infinite relish. Then the artistic ornamentation of the outside, with its stars, monograms, etc., and above all the marvellous faces with which it was embellished, each with such a genial smile as reminded one of Hood's laughter "from ear to ear."
Do you recognise the "hamely" description, ye Scottish London doctors? Does it appeal to you, ye prosperous Scottish London merchants? Does it not thrill you with delight my Scottish sisters, to look back upon those scenes? To-night, in town and village, by homestead, and in solitary shieling, youngsters are as busy and as happy as we were ourselves a long time ago. Is it not good for us all to recall such early scenes, and to continue to observe Hallowe'en, for with these there crowd upon us many, many more recollections of the bye-gone days? And old familiar faces too, often forgotten in the hurry and bustle of modern life, rush vividly before the mind's eye, each reviving some scene of early days. Where are the old familiar faces? Some have gone to the majority, some have failed. Some have succeeded, but most of them have passed out of our ken, and whether living or dead we know not. Yet to-night we remember them, and doubtless, if living, they remember us, and are renewing early scenes and early pranks on memory's screen.
Wha hid the maister's spec's, and burned his taws?
Wha put a divot on Luckey Tamson's chimney head and smeaked the auld body out o' her hoose?
Wha tied Miss Craw's door handle to the doctor's nicht bell opposite, and made the doctor rise a dizzen times during the nicht, wi' his door handle to Miss Craw's knocker; eh, wha did that?
Dae ye min' when Wullie Burnie put a silk thread across the session house door when the elders were countin' the nicht's collection, and a' the hats were knocked aff excep' Johnny Simson's, because he was a wee body and got below?
Then the memory of fishing, guddling, nutting, brambling, blackberrying,