Enjoy your haggis, neeps and tatties to the skirling of pipes

There is a poem written by a Scottish poet Robert Burns called Address to a Haggis.

Most of it is gibberish to the average regional Queenslander, but the gist of it is that he really liked haggis and thought if you wanted to be big and strong and brave, you would eat it.

Ipswich’s Brian May can be seen giving the address to a haggis in the above video.

“It is mainly used in ceremonial dinners here in Australia, but in the UK you can buy it at any local fish and chips shop,” he said.

“It gets made on the day, boiled for an hour and a half.

“When you stab it ‘the gushing entrails bright’ comes out.

“It’s to show how Scottish food is better than other fare and will make you big and strong.”

The last paragraph of Address to a Haggis:

Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer
Gie her a haggis!

Mr May is an accomplished bagpiper and hails from Liverpool, England where he grew up as the youngest of 10 born of Irish parents.

He was 19 when he joined the army and learn to play the bagpipes.

Mr May recalls standing in his red coat, lining the route for Princess Diana and Prince Charles’s wedding.

“When she came out of Clarence House she gave me a wave,” he said.

Fourty-odd years later Mr May plays various sorts of pipes all over South East Queensland.

“I always support service men and women,” he said.

“I play for the Goodna RSL, Army and Naval cadets, ADF members past and present.

“I want to give back, I have enjoyed every day of it.”

Mr May is also a life member of the City of Ipswich Pipe Band and has also played with the Amberley Pipes and Drums.

As a piper in the army he travelled and lived all over the world but when the opportunity arose in the 90s he decided to come to Ipswich to be near where three of his brothers where living.

“I’ve lived all over the world and Australia is the best place in the world to live,” Mr May said.

Ingredients in haggis

1 sheep’s stomach or ox secum, cleaned and thoroughly, scalded, turned inside out and soaked overnight in cold salted water

heart and lungs of one lamb

450g beef or lamb trimmings, fat and lean

2 onions finely chopped

225g oatmeal

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp ground dried coriander

1 tsp mace

1 tsp nutmeg

water, enough to cook the haggis

stock from lungs and trimmings

Have you ever wanted to know what haggis tastes like, or what’s really going on under a Scotsman’s kilt?  Well you can find this out and more at The Gathering Festival.

It will be held from 9am until 5pm on Sunday, 23 June at Ipswich Turf Club, 219 Brisbane Rd, Bundamba.

In the spirit of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, against the historic backdrop of Ipswich, visitors will witness the colour and spectacle of the Queensland Pipe Band Championships, featuring 250 of Australia’s pipe band competitors.

A Highland dancing competition, Celtic music, lost arts and a medieval re-enactment will also feature at this annual Highland gathering of Scottish, Irish, Welsh, French, Spanish, Cornish Celtic cultures.

Visitors can also sample haggis, learn how to play the bagpipes and even participate in the strong man style Highland games, featuring the caber toss, kilted dash and tug-of-war.

Bring the whole clan along and discover Celtic heritage and historic Ipswich at The Gathering at Ipswich Turf Club.

Get your tickets here.

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