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Koffi and the Haggis


A true story of a  Haggis and it’s Journey from Florida to New York :

On January 13th 2004, Koffi Annan, Secretary General of the U.N. gave the “Inaugural Robert Burns Memorial Lecture”. 

At the end of his speech Secy/Gen. Annan stated “Finally, while I know this is not a traditional Burns Supper, I do hope that you will let this hungry Secretary General try some haggis at some point in the near future”.

Upon receiving a copy of the speech RBANA President Jim Cunningham and his wife Jean, RBANA Secty/Treas.  put out an urgent call by e-mail to RBANA members to answer the call and provide Koffi with a “wee taste o’ haggis”.

Two associate members in Florida, Barbra Bartz and Frank Campbell took upthe challenge and decided to get Koffi his Haggis.

                                                 “Gie Me A Haggis”

These words uttered by Koffi Annan in his speech at the UN in January 2004 caused the RBANA President and Secretary to send out the call to Burnsians to grant Koffi his wish that he be allowed to partake of this delicacy.

After an exhaustive search of the hills around Waterloo, Ontario ( where the Haggis was known to roam prior to the birth of Robert Burns)  one was found but unfortunately USDA does not permit the transportation of dead or live haggis from Canada to New York.                  

Acting on the direct orders of the RBANA President, two RBANA Associate Members in Florida, Barbra Bartz and Frank Campbell took up the challenge. Together they alerted Jim Martin, President of the St Andrews Society of Sarasota who contacted Sheila Jackson, owner of the “Scots Corner” in Sarasota. For many years, Sheila has been supplying Haggis to the St. Andrews Society for their Burns Suppers. They all agreed that they should catch a Florida Haggis and send it to Koffi.

Nb: Like many of us haggis have immigrated from their native Highlands of Scotland to Florida, I’m guessing that they also wanted a warmer climate

The task was not easy to complete as the Florida Haggis are as devious at alluding the hunter as their Scottish ancestors.Undaunted our intrepid, Florida Burnsians began their hunt.,

 

Haggis------ you want it

Haggis ----- you’ll get it

And when finally  you get it

You probably won’t want it

Whether you like it or not like it

Believe me “It’s comin’ dear Koffi”

Yes, “it’s comin’ yet for a’ that!”

                                 (By  Frank Campbell)

                                                                               

After an exhaustive search the Haggis

Hunters, Frank and Barbra, assisted by fellow Burnsian and RBANA member Robert Fraser, were most fortunate to bag a fine specimen near the Scots Corner in Sarasota.

 

With the collaboration of Jim Martin and Sheila Jackson, our hunters arranged to grant Kofi’s wish and on being informed that a Haggis had been procured and was ready to be shipped to New York, the RBANA President suggested that it would be prudent to inform the UN that a haggis was on it’s way. After all we did not want this great delicacy mistaken for a bombby some “Sassenach” security agent. The intrepid Floridians told Jim that they were not worried as they would just put his name on it!!

Finally the Haggis, packed in dry ice, was ready for shipment.

It was not long after that they heard from the Secretary to Koffi Annan that the;

“Haggis Had Landed”. 

What is it? They said as they opened the box
Although in New York, it could have been lox.
A UN security guard felt his heart give a throb
Who could have sent this? - such a brown looking blob.

Tam Samson fae Skye gave a look and said och Aye
It’s a beasty a’ know coz I’ve seen it afore
I’m sure it’s fae Rabbie - and by the by
It’ been undressed, redressed and addressed before.

St Andrews, you say, sent this as a gift
Tae Koffi - wi Luv- should gie him a lift
As we certainly would not leave him stranded
Oh! No - take a look- “The Haggis Has Landed”

                                          (By Frank Campbell)

Bon Apetit - Koffi

In February a letter was received from the Office of the Secretary General, thanking everyone for the gift of the Haggis Enclosed was an autographed photograph.

We have not heard How Koffi enjoyed his Haggis.


Return to our Burns Page

 


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