Robbie Burns in St Kilda Rd

Cheryl Griffin’s latest story has just appeared in CBD News.

“As you link arms and sing Auld Lang Syne this New Year’s Eve, you probably won’t bring to mind the legendary poet Robert Burns who died 226 years ago in distant Scotland never having visited Australia, which at the time of his death had been settled barely a decade.

“Narrm was still undisturbed, except for the everyday activities of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong Boon Wurrung, the traditional custodians of the land we call Melbourne, people who had lived on this land for many thousands of years before white settlement, which was almost 40 years into the future when Burns died.

“A few weeks later, on January 25, Scots around the world will celebrate Burns Night on the anniversary of his birth in 1759. Will you, too, consume haggis, neeps and tatties washed down with a dram (or two) of whisky, perhaps while listening to readings of one of his many poems and songs (think “O my love is like a red, red rose” and “Gin a body meet a body coming thro’ the rye”)?

“From January 1904 until 1970, the imposing bronze statue of Burns you see here stood in St Kilda Rd, not far from Princes Bridge. It towered over a barely recognisable streetscape, arms folded, a larger-than-life figure imbuing
a sense of strength and purpose in this relatively new (look how small the plane trees are) landscape.”

To read more, scroll down to page 23 of the latest CBD News here