From left, Amanda Living, Richard Paul, Bruce Diack and Wilma Stevens transport the haggis following the Address to the Haggis during the 28th annual Robbie Burns dinner at Qualicum Beach legion branch 76 in 2018. The legion will be holding its 29th edition of the event this Saturday, Jan. 26. — NEWS photo

Robbie Burns to be celebrated in Bowser, Qualicum Beach

Haggis, pipe bands and more at events on Jan. 25, 26

Break out the tartan and prepare your stomachs for a helping of haggis: Robbie Burns Day is coming.

This year, Robbie Burns Day dinners are being held at the Bowser legion (branch 211, 7035 West Island Hwy.) on Jan. 25, and the Qualicum Beach legion (branch 76, 180 Veterans Way) on Jan. 26 to celebrate Scottish culture and the poet himself.

Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns was born in Ayrshire in 1759, and is known as “the Ploughman Poet”.

He’s known for a variety of works, including Auld Lang Syne, and of course Address to a Haggis describing a particular fondness for the delicacy, often made of sheep’s offal mixed with suet, oatmeal and seasoning, traditionally boiled in a sheep’s stomach.

Local celebrants can count themselves among the many thousands around the globe celebrating the poet, including those in Dumfries, Scotland where a celebration will run from Jan. 24 to Feb. 3.

It and other events will mark 260 years since Burns’s birth.

In the Parksville Qualicum Beach region, a Bowser Robbie Burns dinner will take place on Friday, Jan. 25, and will include a performance by the Mt. Arrowsmith Pipe Band.

For more info, call the legion at 250-757-9222 or email

Next up is the Qualicum Beach dinner on Saturday, Jan. 26, which saw its tickets sell out within 45 minutes of being available.

This, the legion’s 29th annual Robbie Burns Dinner and Dance, will include Scottish dancers, the piping in of the haggis and dinner, followed by a performance by the Qualicum Beach Pipe Band and dancing music by Bruce Fertham and Friends.

The table servers at the Qualicum Beach event will be members of the 893 Beaufort Squadron Air Cadets.

— NEWS Staff, Bowser and QB legions

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