Bagpiper Joe MacDonald was a big part of the 2015 Robbie Burns ‘nicht’ at the Langley Seniors Resources Centre. This year’s event takes place on Wednesday night

Langley celebration pays homage to Scotland’s best-known bard

Bagpipes, dancing, and haggis are part of a Jan. 20 event at Langley’s Seniors Resources Centre.

Sandy Lucas admits she wasn’t all that familiar with Scottish culture – until last year, that is.

That’s when the director of recreation with the Langley Senior Resources Society was tasked with organizing the “Nicht Wi’ Burns” at the Langley Seniors Resources Centre.

To prepare for last January’s event, Lucas did some research on the famous poet and lyricist Robbie Burns, and the land he called home.

“I’m not Scottish at all and, in fact, last year was the first Robbie Burns event I ever put on, so it was very entertaining and educational as well, for myself and for new members,” Lucas said. “I had done many events but not a Robbie Burns event, so I did quite a bit of homework and I also built on the tradition of what the seniors centre had done years prior.”

Next Wednesday, Jan. 20 at the seniors centre, she’s once again helping to put together a celebration in honour of Burns, Scotland’s best-loved bard who was born Jan. 25, 1759 and died July 21, 1796.

This year’s soirée featuring tradition, poetry, pipes of the bag variety, food, and friendship is especially for the Scottish and for the Scottish-at-heart.

Joe MacDonald will be on hand to pipe in the haggis and lead the festivities.

The “Bill O Fare” features roast beef and, of course, haggis, and will be accompanied by neeps and tatties (more commonly known as turnips and potatoes). Trifle rounds off this traditional Scottish meal.

The event starts with a social hour from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and continues with a dinner and celebration from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Cost (including GST) is $30 each for recreation members and $40 for non-members.

Tickets are available at the front desk of the seniors centre, 20605 51B Ave., and can be picked up from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Friday, as well as Monday to Wednesday next week, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday.

Proceeds will go to recreation programs provided at the local seniors centre.

“It’s worth it [price of admission] because it’s fun,” Lucas said. “It’s fun to learn about different cultures and to be able to experience new things.”

Entertainment includes Marg Halcro on piano, as well as MacDonald accompanying The Shot of Scotch Dancers. There will also be door prizes, and the singing of Auld Lang Syne to wrap up the evening.

On top of celebrating Burns, the night is about bringing people together to socialize, learn, have fun, get out of isolation and meet new people, explained Lucas, who hopes to build on the success of last year’s fundraiser.

“It was great; it was fun,” Lucas said, about last year’s “Nicht.”

“Because it was my first one I actually did look at how we can make this one better, and so we brought in dancers this year, so we’re really excited.”

The Shot of Scotch Dancers will bring a new wrinkle to the celebration.

Lucas had approached MacDonald, looking for suggestions about how to bring festivities “up a notch.”

“He actually works with the dancers who we will be bringing in,” Lucas said.

The Langley Seniors Resource Centre is not the only place in Langley where you can celebrate Robbie Burns next week.

Chartwell Langley Gardens at 6676 203rd St., is hosting a free celebration, open to the public, next Friday, Jan. 22, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

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