History of the Halifax Burns Club


Past PresidentsOur club was founded in October 1997. The inaugural meeting was organized by Bill Forster and Andy Forsyth when both were working at the PanCanadian Energy Corporation.


The original attendees were a mixture of PanCanadian employees recruited by Bill and friends of Andy. The majority became vital members of the HBC, namely John Bryce, Angus McDonald, Archie Campbell, Jim Lancaster, Malcolm Robertson, Mac Giffen and Karl Merrit.


The HBC was based on the Tarbolton Bachelors' Club and the Constitution would be as that adopted by the Calgary Burns Club of which Bill Forster was still a member. The first President would be Bill Forster with Andy Forsyth as Vice President. They served for the initial two years to see the HBC established and then the terms of office would be one year.


As the Calgary Burns Club was a ‘men-only’ Club, the HBC also adopted this in the Constitution and subsequently the first planned Annual Burns Supper was also deemed ‘men-only’.


The first HBC Annual Burns Supper was held on Saturday, January 24th, 1998 in the Windows Restaurant on the 8th Floor of the World Trade Centre. On that night, Halifax experienced a severe winter storm which reduced the expected attendance from 100 to 65 hardy souls. Stewart Chalmers from the Calgary Burns Club proposed the Immortal Memory and the HBC members filled the other main roles.


It was due to the success of this first Burns Supper that some of the guests that evening decided to join the HBC ranks, and each successive year the popularity of the HBC ‘Burns Supper’ has attracted new members. Later that year the Halifax Burns Club hosted the annual conference of The Robert Burns Association of North America, it was a huge success and was repeated in 2006.


In 2012 the club created its own tartan and numerous members have purchased kilts in the design.


The HBC has called several venues "home" over the years. It initially met at PanCanadian’s offices in Founders’ Square on Hollis Street. After several years, the club moved to the boardroom of K & D Industries, followed by a short stint at the Henry House. For many years meetings were held aboard Canada's Naval Memorial HMCS Sackville. The club now meets virtually via Zoom until the pandemic restrictions are lifted.






HBC Presidents

1997/1998 - Bill Forster
1999 - Andy Forsyth
2000 - Fred Leafloor
2001 - John Bryce
2002 - Fred McClintock
2003 - Dick Silvester
2004 - Cameron McIntyre
2005 - Bill Hughes
2006 - Dave MacLachlan
2007 - Bill Forster
2008 - Edwin (Ed) Millar
2009 - Dave Graham
2010 - Innis Campbell
2011 - David Glover

2012 - John Lewandowski

2013 - Jim Fletcher
2014 - Phil Craig
2015 - Duncan McGregor
2016 - Ian Mitchell

2017 - Brent Townsend

2018 - David Sanderson
2019 - Donny MacKenzie
2020 - Gordon Fader
2021 - David Glover
2022 - John Dunn


In Memoriam

Alisdair McKay (2006)

George Jardine (2007)

John Bryce (2009)

Jim Munro (2011)

David McGlashan (2013)

John Lochhead (2014)

Jim Lancaster (2018)

Angus McDonald (2020)

Andy Forsyth (2020)

Ed Miller (2020)


Should auld acquaintance

be forgot,
And never brought to min'?
Should auld acquaintance

be forgot,
And days o' auld lang syne?