THE pupils of St. Ronan’s School in Innerleithen once again honoured the Bard by holding their 35th Annual Burns Lunch last week.

As well as celebrating the birth of Robert Burns, the event commemorated the poet's visit to Innerleithen in 1787 when he took tea at Pirn House, where the school now stands.

The school’s lunch was arranged by the Primary 7 pupils with guests from the community as well as the Primary 6 pupils and senior pupils from partner school, Walkerburn.

In the chair was Sarah Whiteford who kept the proceedings moving along nicely.

Piper Jim Hamilton, of Innerleithen Pipe Band, piped in the haggis, and Frances Reilly gave a stirring Address to the Haggis, albeit being a pre-recorded version on the big screen, as Frances was part of the Netball Team battling it out in the Borders School Final.

The girls finished runners-up and returned in time for the speeches.

Oliver Kennedy said the Selkirk Grace before a team of Primary 5 waiters and waitresses served up a delicious meal of haggis, neeps and tatties prepared by the St Ronan’s kitchen staff.

Following the meal, a number of pupils delivered well-researched and humorous speeches.

Freya Wilson proposed The Immortal Memory, which was accompanied by an imaginative slideshow.

Freya reminded everyone of the Bard’s humble beginnings, his visit to Innerleithen and his colourful lifestyle.

The Toast to the Lassies was proposed by Marcus Adam who recounted Burns’ love of the lassies, while taking the chance to gently poke fun at the girls, ultimately acknowledging that he couldn’t live without them.

Eve Rathie replied on behalf of the lasses and managed to get a bit of her own back.

Other toasts and replies were given by Eilish Henderson (To Oor Guests), Kylib Crawford (Thanks to the Artistes) and Josh Landers (Vote of Thanks to the Chair).

The Primary 6 and 7 pupils from Walkerburn - Ruby Patterson, Kaden Hunter, Melissa Lucas, Thomas Wilson and Kayleigh Zokas - delivered the reply on behalf of the Guests.

St Ronan's headteacher Keith Belleville told us: "Each young person taking part was very accomplished in the delivery of their role.

"The lunch was packed full of entertainment."

The choir sang two songs with the children from Primary one getting in on the act with a Scottish version of the Hokey Cokey: The Shooglie Wooglie and a video link to the Nursery saw the children there present a Scottish medley.

Throughout the afternoon the winners of the whole school Scots poetry recitation competition had entertained with their verses, which ranged from the works of J.K. Annand to Burns himself and showed off the considerable talent from across the school.

The chief guest for the day was Alan Patterson, chairman of St. Ronan’s Border Games, who was joined by his wife Dawn.

Mr Patterson gave an inspiring address before presenting the awards to the winners of the poetry competition.

The Burns Lunch closed with the singing of “Auld Lang Syne.”