Mrs Chairman & Lassies,

In rising to reply to Mr. ------- Toast to the Lassies—I would like in the first instance to thank him for his kind remarks on our attributes which I agree that we Lassies have in abundance and for his great knowledge of his subject. I have no doubt he has earnestly perused and for his very masculine admiration which I believe we so admittedly deserve. I wonder Lassies if those backhanded compliments are not just another device of the male to keep us Lassies in what they so often call our place the bedroom or the kitchen. Today however is not the same as it was in Burns time and there have been many changes in the attitudes of men towards the Lassies not least of which is the fact that that there are lassies here tonight sharing a celebration with their men folk a thing unheard of in the days of Burns.  Did we ever hear of Mrs Tam O’ Shanter ever accompanying her husband on a jaunt to the market or the wife of a cottar being allowed to speak without being spoken to? Lassies there is very little written before or during lifetime to indicate that the lassies did anything more for society than feed, wash, nurse and bear children for the stronger sex. It is then surely a strange paradox that Robert Burns who was so much a man of his time in his attitude to women was also very much in advance of the thinking of his day that we find him in the forefront of those pioneers who helped to set women free and enabled them to shake the shackles of drudgery from their lives and ended forever our role as the unpaid servants of men. Having said that Lassies I must admit that that I have never read of the Lassies that Burns was with shouting for help or complaining although I can think back a bit and have at least a wee complaint----

 “When ah wis but a lassie--- My world was bright and gay,
Playin’ skippin’ ropes and Peever---It ferlie filled ma day
As ah grew up----a fine young lass---Just like ma mammy hoped,
Ah discovered laddies-----and ah the guid times stoped.

 I was intrigued by the remarks of the proposer of the toast on the question of love that m any splendoured thing but I am sure that there must be many Lassies who have witnessed another type of love especially after the boys have had a night out and are on there way home

“There is a love it’s a wonderful love,
It’s been with us since time began,
It’s the love of a maid who is un-afraid
Of the love of her dear young man.
There’s another love a more wonderful love,
More tender than that of a Mother,
it’s that Passionate-Exquisite-Masculine love
Of one drunken BUM to another.

 Lassies I am certain that the laddies mean well in what they say and do but this is 20-- this is the day of the spacewoman this is the day of mind boggling scientific wonder the day when the mind cowers terrified at the magnitude of new discoveries and yet Lassies I will say that Robert Burns had no idea of the forces he helped to unleash when he advocated the emancipation of women Burns could never have dreamt or had the slightest vision of the results of his fight for the rights of the weaker sex. But Gentlemen we Lassies will remember with gratitude the role played by Robert Burns for the benefit of the Lassies and we promise that we will never substitute the silicon chip for men and in spite of all your shortcomings there will always be a place for you in our Lassies society of the future.