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Jan 24 2008

The UK Contingen Celebrates Burns Night with International Colleagues

SOLBIATE OLONA (VA), 24 Jan 08. The UK Contingent invited international colleagues to join in the annual Burns’ Night celebrations today.

Robert Burns (1759 – 1796) is one of Scotland’s most celebrated poets. Each year, on the anniversary of his birth (25 January), he is remembered with a supper comprising of the traditional Scots haggis, whisky, music and speeches.

This is not a celebration that is uniquely held in Scotland. Scots all over the world, and a good deal of non-Scots who like to join in the celebrations, get together to remember this great bard.

HQ NRDC-ITA’s home base at Solbiate Olona was no exception this year.

Building on the success of last year’s event, Major Steve White of the UK Contingent and a true Scot, ensured that the spirit of Burns’ poetry and traditional Scottish fare was sampled by more than just the UK members of the HQ.

Around 60 HQ members and their families from around the international community joined him for a night of good food, whisky, Burns-based poetry and Scots dancing.

This was the first occasion that many of the international guests had sampled haggis, but their inhibitions were washed away with the ample supply of whisky as they tucked in to the traditional Burns supper.

For Major Marian Predoaica of Romania, this was a unique occasion.It was a good opportunity for me to savour the famous British humour at first hand in the form of some witty poems and jokes.

I thought the joke was on me however, when someone explained what haggis and Scottish dancing comprised of. To my surprise though, I really enjoyed both and I’m very grateful for the experience.

The night also provided an opportunity to say goodbye to two members of the UK Contingent who are leaving not just the HQ, but also the British Army very shortly.

Those assembled joined NRDC-ITA’s Deputy Commander, Major General David Bill CB, to say goodbye to Lieutenant Colonel and Mrs Caley, and also Major and Mrs Monteith. During his speech General Bill recalled the two officers’ lengthy careers and on behalf of the Army thanked them and their wives for their many years of dedicated service.

Story by NRDC Public Affairs Office


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