celebrates Burns Day
Residents at Burnbrae Gardens in Campbellford were treated
to an early celebration of Robbie Burns Day on Jan. 16.
The day, which is traditionally celebrated on Jan. 25, featured
entertainment from Rev. Ken Ramsden, who, dressed in a kilt
and other traditional Scottish garb, came to the home from
Peterborough to entertain residents with guitar and fiddle
music, traditional Scottish songs with dancing, and, of course,
|Entertainer Rev. Ken Ramsden
plays the fiddle for residents at Burnbrae Gardens on
Jan. 16 during the home’s Robbie Burns Day celebration.
The day marks the birth of Scottish poet Robert Burns, best
known for his poems “A Red, Red Rose,” “The
Battle of Sherramuir” and “Auld Lang Syne.”
More than 30 residents in the 43-bed home attended the event,
says life enrichment co-ordinator April Anderson.
“The lounge was packed and he (Ramsden) was awesome,”
she adds, noting that this was the first time the home had
held celebrations for Robbie Burns Day.
Although some residents might drift off to sleep during some
entertainment sessions, every one of the residents was captivated
by Ramsden and his one-man show, Anderson adds.
“He was very good with the residents,” says Anderson.
“He was right down to Earth with them, he was telling
them jokes and they were laughing . . . the interaction was
Ramsden brings his entertainment act to residents at more
than 30 long-term care homes in the province, logging between
40,000 and 50,000 km per year in travel time. The multitalented
Ramsden has also performed on The Tommy Hunter Show.
“I have been an actor and musician all my life, and
find one of the best audiences to entertain are seniors,”
says Ramsden. “The residents of Burnbrae are no exception.
were happy, sang along with the songs, and rewarded me with
polite applause after each number.”
After the hour-long show, residents made a point of approaching
the reverend and thanking him for the entertainment.
Resident Charlotte Graydon, herself of Scottish descent,
says she enjoyed the event — especially the songs. She
also applauds the energy Ramsden has during his entertainment
“He was very good on his feet,” she says. “He
was excellent. Oh, the Scottish and the Irish songs were (great).”
One thing noticeably missing at the Robbie Burns Day celebration
was haggis, the traditional Scottish meal of chopped organ
meat mixed with oatmeal and suet, then baked in a sheep’s
Graydon, however, says she didn’t mind the lack of
“It’s not one of my yearnings,” she laughs.