Originally conceived as a Houston reunion party for BP/Britoil Glasgow employees in 2001, the event rapidly expanded to become a Burns Night celebration. Peter Foster was the original convener of the reunion and organizer of the event. As it rapidly expanded in popularity, responsibility for managing the proceedings was soon assumed by a Burns Night Committee and this was incorporated as the non-profit Westside Burns Night Association in 2010.
The style of the evening is much more informal than many Burns Night events. There is no top table and the speakers are drawn as far as possible from the association membership. The inclusion of a Ceilidh band is a signature part of the evening and vigorous dancing is enjoyed by all participants. In recent years special guest speakers have been invited from Scotland. The inaugural event had 64 attendees, but this rapidly multiplied and within a few years reached a capacity of 350. Attendees are about 60% expatriate Scots and 40% from all corners of the world, giving the evening a very international flavor. Guests from all countries are welcomed. So far it has been held each year at the Omni Hotel Westside, the management of which has long learnt to tolerate the rambunctious proceedings. In fact the staff looks forward to the event each year. The Westside Burns Night is run at cost and any surplus funds are donated to charity after each year’s event. Organizations supported to date include the Livestrong Foundation, The Gulf Coast Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Shriners Children’s Hospital, Help for Heroes and the American Red Cross. The Westside Burns Night has donated over $50,000 to charity.
The Westside Burns Association is a 501 (C) 3 organization who host an annual Burns Supper in Houston Texas to promote the life, works and fellowship of Robert Burns, Any surplus funds are donated to various local, state and national charities, which, ‘to-date’ is over $50K.
Chieftain; Peter Foster
Address tae a Haggis; Callum Wilkinson
Selkirk Grace; Keith Wyatt
Immortal Memory; Jane Brown
Toast tae the Lassies; Jim McNicoll
Reply on behalf of the Lassies; Morag Watson
Westside Burns Night 2020 Click Here to Register for this Event