​The manner in which I was appointed as Acting Secretary of the arrangements for the “Year of the Scot Dinner” which was to be held in the City Chambers of Glasgow, and any other business concerning the Burns Federation came about in the following manner. I was a member of the Committee which was set up to make all the arrangements for this dinner and sometime in the month of April 1980 I received a phone call from Jock Thomson asking me to please come to Dean Castle Country Park, Dower House, Kilmarnock. He did not say why he wanted me to but I agreed to do so and duly arrived about 11-30 A,M. and was greeted by Peggy, Jock’s ever attentive wife. After a short talk on this and that Peggy brought in a lovely dinner and when this meal was finished Peggy cleaned up and on that day I did not see her again. Jock and I sat down and Jock began to tell me why he had asked me to come to Kilmarnock. He told me that he was urgently required to go to South Africa to visit his family, and that there was only a limited time for him to go before the “Year of the Scot function” While he was away it would be necessary for someone to take his place as Secretary to organise   the “Year of the Scot function” and any other problems that arose. The reason that he had asked me to be here today was that he had chosen me to be the  “Acting Secretary while he was away. I was completely flabbergasted by what Jock was saying, but in reply to him I said that there were so many members of our committee who were longer serving than I was, to which Jock replied that he had chosen me because he knew that I would organise “The Year of the Scot” in the same way that I had organised many Burns functions so successfully.  I eventually agreed with Mr. Thomson that I would be his acting Secretary until he came home from South Africa and so in the year that my good friend Molly Rennie was President of the Burns Federation I became the Acting Secretary.