Whoever it was that first said the Scottish were tight with money was proved wrong when more than HUF 12 million ($42,360 at January 2002 exchange rates) was raised for sick and needy children in the name of one of Scotland’s best-known sons.
The fifth annual Budapest Burns Supper, organised by the Hungarian-Scottish Society at the InterContinental Hotel on Saturday, January 26 2002, got off to a high kicking start thanks the stars of the Moulin Rouge Club on Nagymező utca.
The night not only celebrates the life and works of Burns but also the cultural similarities between the Scottish and Hungarian nations. It followed the traditional formula of events held in Scotland for more than 200 years, but with a Hungarian twist. Copious amounts of whisky and the local pálinka brandy helped around 450 guests wash down the traditional haggis, neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes) accompanied by Hungarian hurka (a type of sausage).
Aside from the tartan-fringed festivities, the main focus of the evening was helping children in Hungary. At the time of going to press, event chairman and MC for the evening Mark Muss (of moving firm Interdean.Interconex) reported that in excess of HUF 12 million had been raised.
“We have not finished counting the money yet,” Muss said. “I would like to thank everyone who attended the night and all those involved for making it such a success.”
This year’s funds are being donated to help purchase an Intensive Therapy Diagnostic Unit for the II Department of Paediatrics at the Semmelweis University Hospital. Money will also be used to help improve the quality of lives for numerous suffers of Down’s syndrome at the request of Dr György Fekete, Director of the II Department, and also the Chairman of the Paediatric Association.
Vice President of the Hungarian-Scottish Society and founder of the event, Jock Mackenzie, was delighted with the results. “We have learned a lot this year and I am delighted to say that we reached our objectives. Next year is going to be even bigger and better.” Mackenzie is also pursuing efforts to push the Budapest Burns Supper formula all over the region to raise funds for children while having fun at the same time.
By Sarah Spencer