Address to a (GOD) Haggis

Sadly, in the interest of time, Jim Findlay had to cut some material from his speech at the Gareloch Dinner. The new Convenor thought you might all appreciate still being able to appreciate his Burns-inspired ‘Address to Peter (with haggis overtones)’.

Happy New Year! And it is nearly time for Burns Supper… (I heard the club have one!).

Cultural note (mindful of our international audience and friends in the FKY!): ‘Address to a Haggis’ is a poem by Robert Burns – Scotland’s national bard (poet) – which is read out at a Burns Supper. It celebrates the haggis which is the king of puddings (sausages rather than desserts).

Address to Peter (with haggis overtones)

Fair fa Thalia’s sonsie face

Convenor’s yacht o’ Gareloch Class

Around the marks you take your place

Second, first and never last

Weel are ye worthy o’ a dram

As langs my arm


The Helmsmans place you occupy

Below the coaming, ‘cept your eyes

Your tiller held above your heid

Just in case a tack you need

While through your veins the red blood roars

Like tidal flows


His Ensign, see Commander Peter raise

My yacht is long enough for this he says

When underneath the Club Burgee

His pride in Navy and the sea

Oh what a glorious sight

Golden hull and varnish bright


Then bow to stern they tack and gybe

It’s Deil tak the hindmost on the Clyde

Til all the boats are scattered wide

And spinnakers in tatters lie

Auld Charley D, maist like to win

his red flag flies


Is there that ower his post-race brew

Or protest meet to mak him stew

Or starboard boat that came too close

Or crew that points the rightful course

Talks down the fine points of the rule

To win at any cost


Poor devil, see him hold his course

The wrong decision, oh how rash

His guid topsides at risk o bash

No rights at mark

Tho’ water called and red flag flies

Poor grasp of rules the space denies


But mark Thalia’s canvas spread

Her wily crew, refreshed and fed

No confrontation, need for rules

Clear air and water are the tools

That give the boys their right of way

And sometimes well-earned victory


Ye G.O.D.’s wha sailors love so much

On Tuesday nights and Sunday lunch

The Gareloch wants no reaching course

With long procession

But if you wish a beat that’s best

Gie them force 4 out the west