Please find the most recent RBWF Monthly Bulletin Publication for March 2019

Registration forms for the annual RBWF 2019 Conference are now available.

New Publications to be found for club and individual members:

Halifax Club Executives

Summer 2019 Tattler

Halifax Club Executive Update

Medicine Hat Club Update

Entries for the 2019 Jack Hume Poetry Contest

Winning Poem 2019 Jack Hume Poetry Contest

Congratulations to Ronnie O’Byrne and his Burns-like prose!!!

Friars Carse Hotel – Auldgirth

Thomas Daffurn of Scotland recently connected with RBANA to let us know that Friars Carse Hotel, an establishment closely to connected to Robert Burns, is currently up for sale in Scotland.


The original ‘Frierskerse’ was established as a friary back in the 13th century, close to today’s ‘Friars Carse’.  The property became home to the Riddell family and named ‘Glenriddell’, with Robert Burns, as a regular houseguest.

Friars Carse has close associations with Burns, too, as it was here, in the Whistle Restaurant, where the famous drinking competition was held with Fergusson of Craigdarroch, the outright winner, and put into verse by Burns.  And it was in this property where Burns would often take his comfort, sleeping at the Burns Hermitage, located in the grounds of Friars Carse.  He even wrote his inscription to then owner of the estate, Robert Riddell,  “To the Memory of Robert Riddell”, on the hermitage window with his diamond stencil.

The stencil is now on display at Ellisland Farm Museum, which is just a short walk from the hermitage along the River Nith.  It is here that Burns wrote many of his most famous poems and songs including Auld Lang Syne and Tam o’Shanter.  Ellisland Farm now provides a wonderful insight into Robert Burn’s life on a farm two hundred years ago.  Guided tours of the farmhouse and museum are available. You can see Rabbie’s original writings, his possessions and stroll along the paths Burns walked beside the river.

The property passed through many hands before becoming home to Dr James Crichton (better known as the Admirable Crichton) in 1809.  Remodelled in 1873, the house was renamed ‘Friars Carse’ in 1895 and established as a hotel in 1938.

Company Secretary, Simon Kelly,  is available to provide additional information about the property and its connection to Burns.
Telephone number : 44 – 01386 – 882621

Poetry Writing Competition 2019

The Jack Hume Heather & Thistle Trophy, is awarded annually for writing poetry in the style of Robert Burns.  Jack Hume, who passed away a year ago, was the founder of the H&T Burns Club and a staunch supporter of RBANA. 2019 is the fourth year of the annual competition for the trophy he presented.

Entries are invited under the following rules and conditions, which also can be accessed as a PDF in the title above:

  • Poems submitted must be original, and not previously published.
  • Only RBANA members in good standing are eligible to win the trophy.
  • Entries from non-RBANA members will be judged by the panel but are not eligible to win the trophy.
  • The winner will be chosen by a three-member panel comprising Guida Hume, Jack’s widow, author and a professor of English, RBWF representative Willie Gibson, and 2018 Hume Trophy winner Jim Hutchens of the Calgary Club, AB.
  • Entries will be submitted to the panel anonymously, and the panel’s decision will be final.
  • The winner will be announced and the trophy presented at the RBANA AGM & Conference 2019 in Niagara Falls in May.
  • The winner does not need to be present. The trophy will be mailed to the winner, if not present.
  • This trophy will be awarded annually. The winner is responsible for returning the trophy to the RBANA Secretary prior to the following AGM & Conference.
  • Entries should be submitted by email to ireneandrobertboyd@sbcglobal.net
  • The deadline for entries is April 12, 2019.

Who We Are

The purpose of the RBANA website is to provide information exchange between affiliated Clubs and individual members of RBANA and provides an access point in North America for those interested in Robert Burns and his works.  RBANA does not have the expertise to assess the value of Burns Books or artifacts. Those with such enquiries should seek professional advice.  RBANA will not make available membership lists or contact details.  RBANA does not review new publications; song albums; etc. or promote these to member Clubs.  RBANA does not promote commercial enterprises, highland dress suppliers, etc.


RBANA is an association dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of the life, works and philosophy of Scotland’s National Bard – Robert Burns, and to promote Scottish culture and heritage in North America.
The genesis for the Association came from a meeting in 1981 of representatives from six Burns Clubs, in Annapolis, Maryland. A committee was formed to further explore their ideas. In 1982 at a meeting in Hamilton, Ontario a constitution was drawn up. The name “The North American Association of Federated Burnsians” was adopted.
At the 2000 Annual General Meeting in London, Ontario the name ” The Robert Burns Association of North America ” (RBANA) was adopted. RBANA is affiliated with the Robert Burns World Federation Limited, in Kilmarnock, Scotland.

Usually taking place in April or May, RBANA Annual Conference and General Meeting is held every year, alternating between Canada and the United States.

Recent Conferences have been held in:-
Halifax, NS (2006), Winnipeg, MB (2007 & 2011), Houston, TX, on a cruise ship (2008), Mississauga, ON {2009}, Detroit, MI {2010}, Williamsburg, VA {2012}, Niagara Falls, ON {2013}, Columbia, SC, in conjunction with the University of South Carolina {2014}, Calgary AB {2015}, Dallas – Ft Worth, TX {2016}, Medicine Hat, AB {2017} and Philadelphia, PA {2018}.

The 2019 Annual Conference and General Meeting is being held in Niagara Falls, ON.  Please look under Conferences for information about registering for the conference and reservations at the conference hotel.

The business of the Association is conducted by an Executive Committee, which is elected at the Annual General Meeting for a two year term.  The Executive consists of a President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, Immediate Past President, three Directors from the United States, and three Canadian Directors.
At the 2018 Annual General Meeting in Philadelphia, Ken Montgomery of the Medicine Hat AB Club was acclaimed President, and Henry Cairney of the Calgary AB Burns Club was acclaimed Vice President.

A complete listing of the Executive with their club affiliations is here:

RBANA Executive Committee 2018 – 2020

The 2018 – 2020 RBANA Executive Committee

Back Row (l to r): Andy Harrower (Can), Bill Fulton (US), Jim Steel (Can), Colin Harris (IPP), Ted Hirtz (US), George McClellan (US), piper for the night Doug Connors.

Seated (l to r): Ken Montgomery – President, Ian McIntyre – President RBWF, Henry Cairney – Vice President.

Pictured at the recent AGM & Conference in Philadelphia. Not present: Tony Grace (Can), Mathew Hill (Secy-Treas).

About our Website

This Website is set up to inform our members and visitors about what is taking place in the world of Burns lovers, both in North America and internationally.
We report on Association and Club activities and also on interesting news items.
The site also provides links to international websites providing access to information about Robert Burns Life, access to his works on-line and resource material for research.
The member clubs are identified and anyone interested in connecting with these can request information.
Individuals are also welcome as members of RBANA, and a membership application form is available on the membership page.
The Association Newsletter “The Tattler” is also available for download.