A Carluke man will, for the coming year, be the figurehead of the international organisation keeping the memory of Scotland’s National Bard Robert Burns alive throughout the world.
The Presidency of the World Burns Federation, representing literally hundreds of Burns Clubs around the globe, has been awarded to weel-kent local Burnsian Dr Peter Hughes OBE, crowning decades of dedication in promoting the works of the Bard both at home and abroad.
The now-retired Chief Executive of Scottish Engineering has been involved in the world of Burns since he was a pupil at Wishaw High School and he went on to build a reputation as one of the nation’s finest speakers at the annual celebratory Suppers, proposing the Immortal Memory and delivering other speeches on the Bard at scores of such events both in Scotland and overseas.
Said close friend Murdo Morrison, himself a past Federation president: “Peter is also one of the founder members of the Robert Burns Guild of Speakers.
He has achieved distinction in many walks of life and due recognition has been made ranging from his investiture with the OBE at Buckingham Palace to the prestigious membership of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
“His interest and passion for engineering featured in his career and continues through retirement from being Chief Executive of Scottish Engineering.
“Motivation talks to pupils and students of all ages find a place in his busy diary and has given inspiration to many hundreds to get involved in engineering as a career.
“Elevation to the Presidential role of the Federation is following in the footsteps of other Lanarkshire Burnsians and especially those from Allanton Jolly Beggars Burns Club, which has been the home Club for three previous World Presidents, namely the late Abe Train— who was the main motivator in the Club being formed over fifty years ago — and the late ex Provost Hutcheson B. Sneddon and myself.
“Thje neighbouring Motherwell United Services Burns Club has provided two World Presidents – John Morrison and one of the best known speakers on the Burns circuit, Robert Dalziel.”
The new president from Carluke joined that august company when he was elected to the post at the recent Federation annual general meeting and conference.
A busy year lies ahead for Peter — but that won’t daunt a man for whom promoting Scotia’s Bard is a labour of love.