Four hundred or so tartan-clad guests, gallons of free whisky, plates full of haggis, neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes) and some incredibly hairy men wielding hefty weapons – it could only be Budapest’s annual Burns Supper.
Organised by the Hungarian-Scottish Society, the charity event, now in its sixth year, was held for the first time at Budapest’s Marriott Hotel on the night of Saturday, 25 January 2003.
The evening, which not only celebrates the life and works of Scotland’s most famous poet, but also the cultural similarities between the Hungarian and Scottish nations, has raised more than HUF 30.6 million ($125,000 at January 2003 exchange rates) for sick and needy children in Hungary since its inception.
At the time of going to press, the event’s organisers were unable to confirm exactly how much this year’s event had generated for good causes, but founder Jock MacKenzie was happy to report the final figure would be very close to the target of HUF 18 million ($79,300).
“It was a successful night enjoyed by everyone who attended,” MacKenzie said. He continued that the society hoped to release details about the amount of money raised and how it would be distributed in a matter of days.
Chairman of the event and MC for the evening Mark Muss said, “I was delighted to chair the event for a third time. It was a fantastic night and I would like to thank everyone who attended and all our helpers and sponsors for supporting such an important and worthy cause.”
By John Hayes