Each year, the world celebrates the January 25th birth of Scotland's greatest poet - Robert Burns and his many famous works of poetry and songs. This year, the Rotary Club of Edmonton's members (many of whom are of Scottish descent), will be able to participate in these celebrations at our Monday, January 20th luncheon meeting.  
The Chateau Lacombe's chefs have welcomed the idea of a Scottish-themed lunch for our Club and have promised to serve us an exquisite cuisine of beef barley soup, mashed potatoes (tatees), mashed turnips (neeps) and yes, even haggis! (For those less adventurous, roast beef will be available as an alternative to haggis). You will also enjoy a typical Scottish dessert - bread pudding with a side of custard. A wee dram of Scotch is available for $8 to complement the haggis and for toasting purposes.

This is a first for our Club so we have pulled out all the stops! One of Edmonton's pre-eminent bag pipers will commence the luncheon with some Scottish pipe tunes. Our speaker of the day is a member of The Edmonton Burns Club who hails from Ayre, Scotland. Alex Thomson is a Robert Burns aficionado who will tell us about the influence of famous Scots such as Burns and the many Scottish immigrants who helped in the formation of Canada as we know it today. 
In keeping with the theme of the day, feel free to wear Scottish tartan socks, a tartan tie or scarf and celebrate the occasion! Come ready to buy some raffle tickets as the winner(s) will enjoy a prize  of  either one of two baskets of scotch and other liquor  or a third prize of two bottles of wine.
If you know of someone who might be interested in joining us for this unique event, please invite them!
As we are expecting a good turnout, please be sure to register in advance by going to:
Jeff Allen is a native Edmontonian who recently retired from a career in heavy equipment technology. He and his wife Cathy have been very involved in highland dance in northern and central Alberta for many years. While he didn't take up piping until he was in his late 30's, Jeff had a natural affinity for it and has enjoyed playing at a high level ever since. As a member of the Edmonton and District Pipe Band, he has travelled and competed across Canada, the U.S. and Scotland. He is a fourteen-year member of the Edmonton Burns Club and was the Club’s 90th President in 2010. Having always been involved in sports, Jeff says he brings his competitive spirit to piping and his favorite summer pastime - golfing.
Although Alex Thomson was born in Aylesbury, England, he was only a "wee one" when his Scottish father moved the family back to Ayrshire, just south of Edinburgh. His early schooling was taken in West Kilbride and Ardrossan Scotland. After high school, he attended University of the West of Scotland in Paisley near Glasgow, acquiring credentials which qualified him for a career in the real estate industry. But he chose first to volunteer for an international youth organization from 1997 through 2003 where he travelled and worked in countries such as Japan and Hawaii. Alex immigrated to Canada in 2005 and began a successful career in commercial real estate with Avison Young. In 2009, he was admitted to membership in the Edmonton Burns Club and in 2012 became the youngest member ever elected as President of the Club. He was also the first President to ever read his inaugural address from an iPhone! As a long-time admirer of Robert Burns and his many acclaimed works, Alex enjoys speaking to audiences about Scotland's "favorite poet" and his native homeland. Because he too has a gift for writing poetry, Alex has become the "Bard" of the Edmonton Burns Club. His soft Scottish brogue has delivered narrative and dramatic works to many audiences including Edmonton Burns Club meetings and the Club's annual, sold-out Burns Night banquet.