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Tesco celebrates Robert Burns

Graeme Hastie

Internal Audit Manager, Tesco Bank & President of Kelso Burns Club

25 Jan 2017

To celebrate Burns Night our colleagues from our Ayr store recite the famous “Address to a Haggis”.

No matter what part of Tesco you work in, it’s pretty clear Tesco colleagues are passionate about their food and drink.

At this time of year, I, like so many of us with a Scottish connection, will take the opportunity to celebrate the life and works of Robert Burns. Although Burns is Scotland’s National Bard his appeal has extended worldwide. Burns was certainly a guy who knew a bit about food and drink and his poems and songs include frequent references to both.

Celebrating Robert Burns

Outside of life as an Internal Audit Manager at Tesco Bank, I’m proud to be the President of my local Burns Club in Kelso, in the Scottish Borders. My first encounter with the works of Robert Burns was at the tender age of 10, when my school teacher announced a class competition to recite a Burns poem. With one week to prepare I decided to learn Tam O’Shanter, all 228 lines! Needless to say I didn’t quite succeed but such was the impression that Burns left upon me I did eventually learn the whole poem and a number of others.

Although it’s 258 years since his birth in Ayrshire, Burns’ work covering universal themes of love, nature, equality and liberty still has great appeal today. He has influenced many, including the likes of Bob Dylan, John Steinbeck and William Wordsworth. He is also regarded as the “people poet” of Russia.

So whether you are celebrating at home or attending an organised Burns function, you are taking part in a continuous chain of fellowship and brotherhood that is the “Burns Supper”.

While the “Immortal Memory” is being given in Mumbai, the “Lassies” are being toasted in London. In Hungary the Haggis is being piped in, while they recite “John Barleycorn” in Bangkok. In Slovakia the “Selkirk Grace” starts the meal; they enjoy “A red, red rose” in Ankara, but all will sing “Auld Lang Syne” at the end of the evening.

Food Love

Whether it is through food, drink, poetry or song, Burns is someone who brings people together. I hope you enjoy this video of our colleagues from our Ayr store reciting the famous “Address to a Haggis”.

Happy Burns night.

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