2015 smoker: 15 May
Callants Club officials, members and guests join newest member Cornet Gregor Hepburn at the smoker in the Town Hall (Photograph courtesy of Derick Thomson)
Ross joins illustrious club with Hawick at its heart
Cornet Gregor Hepburn became the newest member of the 111-year-old Callants Club last Friday night.
The club was set up with specific aims in mind including the cultivation of local sentiment, preservation of ancient customs and institutions and the fostering of local art and literature.
And as June days draw nigh, there can be no-one in the town more aware of the importance of the club than the popular 23-year-old Cornet.
The evening kicked off in the usual manner with president Frank Scott asking Bernie Armstrong to sing a verse of The Callant, followed by a song of his choice with Mr Armstrong opting for a cracking rendition of Up wi the Banner.
This was followed by Bert Armstrong singing The Border Queen and Geoff Ross with Bonnie Border Toon.
In his toast to the Cornet, president Scott said: “What a thrill it is to be able to toast our Cornet tonight. This will be one of several toasts to this young man and it is difficult to think of something original to say.
“What does it mean to be Cornet of Hawick? Hawick, a place symbolic of hospitality and sincerity and a town steeped in history. And when we look back it is with that sense of history that I would offer this toast to Cornet Hepburn.”
Mr Scott added: “This toast has been 100 years in the making because my great grandfather, also Francis William, was elected president of this great club in 1914.
“The country was at war and there was no Cornet in 1915 and subsequently no congratulatory smoker.
“So, there is no centenary Cornet here tonight . . . but there is a 25 and 50-year Cornet and it is great to see them in our company.”
The president paid tribute to the Cornet before inviting him to stand and saying: “Cornet, on behalf of the Callants Club, I invite you to become our newest member and present you with this pack and hope in years to come it will remind you of your momentous year.”
The gathering was treated to an evening of first-class song and poetry which ended with Michael Aitken’s memorable rendition of Teribus.