Wednesday, 4 April 2012
A Burns Night celebration for Queen's Island
There is a long tadition of Burns Suppers in Ulster, stretching back to the formation of the Belfast Burns club in the 1870s and taking in other Burns Clubs, such as the one that used to exist in Londonderry.
However I was surprised to come across this reference to a Burns supper in the Belfast News-Letter on 29 January 1923. It was a report that 'the drawing office staff at the Queen's Island held their second annual Burns dinner in Ye Olde Castle Restaurant'.
We know that Burns has a universal appeal but there was a special interest here in Ulster, because of the close cultural connection between Ulster and Scotland and especially because of the fact that the Scots language was understood by Ulster folk.
Back in 1923 the Burns Supper was held in Ye Olde Castle Restaurant, which is long gone, but perhaps when the Harland & Wolff drawing office is refurbished and brought back into use it might be the location for a future Burns Supper.
However in the meantime we can look back to 1923 and I am sure that many of those who worked in the drawing office in 1923 had been working there for some years. As a result some of those who attended the Burns night celebration might well have worked on the drawings of the Titanic.
Posted by Nelson McCausland MLA at 09:37