A RICH evening of poetry and song, friendship and entertainment was enjoyed at last Friday night’s Callants Club congratulatory smoker in the town hall.
President Robert Charters chaired the evening, which saw more than 190 members and guests welcome the newest member to the club – Cornet Michael Davidson.
And the 25-year-old spoke of the great pleasure and pride at joining the prestigious organisation.
In traditional fashion, president Charters was played into the hall by the Drums and Fifes at the start of the night, accompanied by Cornet Davidson and the rest of the Big Four.
Bert Armstrong was the first entertainer with a verse from The Callant, followed by The Border Queen. Michael Aitken with Queen o’ the Auld Scottish Borders and Drew Johnstone with Hawick Among the Hills. Stuart Marshall then sang Home by Burnfoot, before the president toasted Cornet Davidson and presented him with his club badge.
Doug Telfer was the next performer with his recital of The Hill Road to Roberton, after which Cornet Davidson gave his reply.
Malcolm Grant with I like Auld Hawick, was followed by Cammy Rudkin’s recitation of The Mosstroopers, before Dave Chapman sung JED Murray’s haunting The Wail of Flodden.
President Charters then welcomed Silver Jubilee Cornet David Nuttall and Silver Jubilee Acting Father Bert Wear, after which the former addressed the company.
The songs and poems kept coming with Kenny McCartney and Oor Ain Auld Toon, Liam Berridge with Oor Bonnie Border Toon, Clinty performed by John Tait, Ian Fraser and his recital of The Vertish, before Derrick Oliver with Up Wi The Banner, and a rousing rendition by the Drums and Fifes brought the first half to a close.
After pies and sandwiches, provided by The Home Bakery, Bernie Armstrong got the second half off to a first-class start with Hawick. Gary ‘Pop’ Robson’s rendition of Pawkie Paiterson and Philip Murray’s A Border Burn were followed by a favourite of some of the elder members, The Lassie that works in The Mill.
Selkirk’s Billy Stark then recited The Borders, before Callants Club vice-president Gerald Adams proposed the toast to Acting Father Grahame Nichol. In his reply, The Fither Nichol recalled some encounters at the high school with Mr Adams.
Ex- Cornet Ian Nichol then had the hall swaying with Up Wi Auld Hawick, before Graeme Tinlin belted out The Banner Blue. Club council member and Ex-Cornet, Ian Whillans, then toasted The Right and Left, and after Ian Landles had sung another new song about Hawick, Ex-Cornets Greg Easton and Jamie Richardson responded to Ian’s toast.
Terence Froud was next to hit the high notes with I like Auld Hawick the Best, followed by the ever-popular Ronnie Tait and Meda’s Song. One of the newer club members, Graeme Hodgins ably toasted the chairman, after which Viv Sharp sung Bonnie Teviotdale.
Common-Riding song-singer Michael Aitken brought the night to a close with 18 Cornets Up for the singing of Teribus.