Masons host annual ‘Burns Supper’, in Parkrose

INCLUDES FUN VIDEO | Discover why everyone there was ‘Scottish for an evening’ – enjoying this colorful and toothsome community event …

Here, welcoming guests, are volunteers from Washington State: Brooke Nadeau, and Debe McCaul.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

After a successful first event in January 2022, members and supporters of the “Eastgate Masonic Lodge #155 of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons” held their second annual “Burns Supper” on January 21.

Guests who arrived that evening in Parkrose could smell the aroma of a full supper being prepared – yes, including the Scottish traditional dish, Haggis.

As the evening gets underway, Eastgate Masonic Lodge #155 Senior Warden Kenn Clulow greets guests arriving for the Burns Supper.

“Tonight, we’re celebrating the 264th birthday of the Scottish poet Robert Burns,” the Lodge Senior Warden Kenn Clulow heartily explained to East Portland News, as guests were being seated in the hall.

“We’re celebrating that birthday is January 25; but we’re commemorating it here this evening, with the help and support of Washington Masonic Lodge #4 – they’ll be holding their own Burns Supper next weekend,” said Clulow. “So, tonight, we’ll be celebrating Burn’s life with stories, music, and toasts – as well as a full supper!

Here, examining the raffle items, are guests Jill Koch and Rick Johnson.

“Haggis Chef” Kenneth Nadeau checks on his “meat pudding” as it boils – he made it, with the help of the Lodge’s Worshipful Master Preston Marshall, and other volunteers.

“In addition to being recognized as the national poet of Scotland, Robert Burns was also a Freemason,” elucidated Clulow. “And, on New Year’s Eve, as we ring in the New Year, we sing the ancient poem that Burns made into a song – Auld Lang Syne.

Discover more about Scottish poet Robert Burns, and why he’s celebrated, by watching this video:

As the haggis continued to cook, the evening’s Chairman, and Lodge Worshipful Master, Preston Marshall welcomed the attendees, quipping, “We shall serve no haggis before its time!”

Bagpiper Scott Lumsden, Pipe Major of Tacoma Scots Pipe Band, plays during the “Presentation and Piping in of the Haggis” procession

During the procession, Lodge Senior Warden Kenn Clulow carries in the platter, whereon the haggis rides, as the procession snakes through the gathering of some 45 revelers.

Event Chairman, and Lodge Worshipful Master, Preston Marshall extols the virtues of the haggis.

Haggis, alternatively called “hagws”, or “hagese” in England in 1430, is considered the Scots’ national dish – as a result of Robert Burns’ poem “Address to a Haggis”, composed in 1786.

What is haggis? It’s a savory protein entree, traditionally made of sheep’s pluck (heart, liver, and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and cooked while traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach. However, modern recipes leave out the lungs (illegal to sell in the U.S.) – and they use artificial casings, now, in which to cook it.

With everyone sitting at their places at the table, Preston Marshall recited “Address to a Haggis, and Toast” – which begins,

“Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm.”

Marshall then offered the “Selkirk Grace”:

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be Thankit!

The guests were then dismissed to serve themselves tossed salad, the haggis, Cock-a-Leekie Soup, Tatties (potatoes) and Neeps (turnips) – or a pork shoulder roast, instead, for the less adventurous meat eaters.

Serving himself haggis, here’s Martin Bush of the Al Kader Shriners.

Guests enjoying their Burns Supper – including haggis – are Kate Boyle and Sean Boyle.

This year, diners delighted in the meal, coming back for second helpings of the chicken-and-vegetable soup, and of the haggis, too – until it all was completely gone.

After supper, “The Immortal Memory” was recited by Kenn Clulow, the most formal reading of the evening – it’s a testiment to the life and legacy of Burns, and is followed by a toast to his immortal memory.

Live music from Melissa Buchanan and Ben Partain entertain the gathering, before the toasts that capped off the evening celebration.

So, the tradition continues!

Find out more about the Parkrose Eastgate Masonic Lodge #155 by visiting their Facebook page: CLICK HERE.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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