Robert Burns, born on January 25, 1759, and passed away on July 21, 1796, also known by various names such as Robbie Burns, Rabbie Burns, Scotland’s favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire, and simply as The Bard in Scotland, was an esteemed Scottish poet and lyricist. Renowned as Scotland’s national poet, Burns is celebrated globally. His works, primarily in the Scots language, also include writings in English and a light Scots dialect, making them accessible to a wider audience. He occasionally wrote in standard English, notably employing it for political and civil commentary.
As a pioneering figure in the Romantic movement, Burns has posthumously inspired many advocates of liberalism and socialism. In Scotland and among the Scottish Diaspora around the world, he is revered as a cultural icon. His legacy grew immensely in the 19th and 20th centuries, attaining almost a cult-like status, and his influence continues to resonate in Scottish literature. In a 2009 STV poll, Burns was declared the greatest Scot by the public.
Apart from composing original works, Burns was an ardent collector and reviser of Scottish folk songs. His poem “Auld Lang Syne” is a customary song for Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve), and “Scots Wha Hae” was once considered an informal national anthem of Scotland.
The Fredericton Society of Saint Andrew was founded in 1825 and ever since, has been serving the interests of supporting the Scottish component of New Brunswick’s cultural mosaic.
In 1906 the Society sponsored the erection of the Robbie Burns statue in Fredericton, on the Green by the banks of the Saint John River, close to the Provincial Legislative building.
Many years ago, behind the Burns statue the Bicycle and Boating Club was located on The Green. It was later renamed the Automobile and Boating Club.
Thanks to Kelsey Goodine for sending us her sunrise shot of the Burns Statue.
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