The Jack Hume Poetry Contest


About the competition:

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. 2021 is the sixth 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 Professor Carol McGuirk, RBWF representative Willie Gibson, and 2020 Hume Trophy winner Jim McLaughlin 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 in the Summer Edition of the Tattler in lieu of the cancelled RBANA Conference.
  • 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 or President prior to the following year’s competition.
  • Entries should be submitted by email to
  • The deadline for entries is April 30, 2021.


2021 Poetry Writing Competition Rules



2021 Winning poem and all Runner-Up Submissions

Winning Poem_2021_Jim Fletcher


(Reflections on “The Tree of Liberty”, a poem ascribed to Robert Burns)

On winds o’ time, their sails unfurled, Our peoples sought out more, man; Were borne in waves aroun’ the warld – Or crashed upon this shore, man

Now here we stand in this fair land Before this fine auld tree, man: Recall the message which it fanned – The pow’r o’ being free, man

This far-famed tree sae dear tae me Has lasted monie a year, man,                 Wi’ branches spread frae sea tae sea And fruits tae bring us cheer, man

This tree, ance planted in the earth O’ Thirteen Founding States, man, Gave a’ a taste o’ our ain worth As masters o’ our fates, man

Her fruits were equal rights for a’ An’ kindness tae the poor, man;                Free speech an’ prayer made intae law; A welcome at our shore, man

She stood the pioneering days When neighbours kept her laws, man, And when our cities were a maze O’ every creed and cause, man

© 2021 Jim Fletcher