Honorary Members 2020

2020: Provost Ian Clarkson, Dr Joseph J Morrow, Lord Lyon King of Arms, and Sir Boyd Tunnock


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Provost Ian Clarkson (1947-2023) Honorary member 2020

His life & work:

Provost Ian Clarkson has given long service and commitment to the community of Irvine via his years as a councillor, the Irvine Carters Society, the Marymass Festival Committee, and more recently as Provost of North Ayrshire Council, and including a warm relationship with Irvine Burns Club.

With many years of service as a councillor (elected to North Ayrshire Council in April 1995), his appeal transcends party lines, and he was elected Provost in May 2017.

One of Ian's earliest connections with Irvine Burns Club was his promotion, in the 1990s, of an Irvine Town Trail leaving from 'Wellwood' - an initiative which led to the Town Trail information hosted on our website (at Irvine Walking Tour). Over the years since then, he has encouraged the close cooperation between the Irvine Burns Museum and North Ayrshire Council, in the interests of the cultural life of Irvine and the legacy of the Bard's short but significant stay in the Burgh.

Provost Ian was the first local Provost to have been appointed an Honorary Member since Provost Robert M Hogg in 1926.

His letter, written on 19 December 2019:


Dear Mr Chalmers (Archie),
I am overjoyed to receive the Invitation to become an Honorary Member of Irvine Burns Club.
     While being completely unexpected, it is an honour, especially from an organisation in my "ain toon" which I have so great a regard for, and which is so close and special to my heart.
     My regard for Irvine Burns Club, and its members, is well known, and I have always looked on the Club as working at the highest level possible, not only as a local historic treasure, but one which is renowned world wide.
     There is no doubt Irvine Burns Club is so special, and I am particularly pleased in the way you work with the young people in our schools, to promote and reach the works of our National Bard.
     For all these reasons, and more, I am humbled by your generous offer, which I am most certainly delighted to accept.
     With greatest regards,

His acceptance letter is on paper titled: 'From The Provost of North Ayrshire Council'.

The photo above shows Ian Clarkson at the launch of the 2020 Robert Burns diary, featuring Irvine Burns Club, in October 2019.

Dr Joseph J Morrow (1930-....) Honorary member 2020

His life & work:

Dr Joseph ('Joe') J Morrow, Lord Lyon King of Arms, is known for being a principal speaker at Burns events over many years. When invited to speak at the 2019 Directors Dinner of Irvine Burns Club, he took the opportunity to task his staff with researching and creating the Coat of Arms which Robert Burns would have liked, though which would not have gained official approval; the result, created by Mark Dennis, is displayed at 'Wellwood'.

Dr Morrow has for many years been actively involved in the community and civic life in Scotland, involved with numerous charities, community activities and civic duties, and as a member of the Faculty of Advocates, previous to which he was a solicitor both in private practice and in the voluntary sector. His many positions include, or have included, President of the Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland, President of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland, a member of the Visiting Committees of Her Majesty’s Prison Perth and Her Majesty’s Prison Friarton, a member of the Licensing Committee and Licensing Board of Dundee City Council, Chancellor of the Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness and former Legal Assessor to the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Vice Lord Lieutenant of the City of Dundee

Dr Morrow was appointed Lord Lyon King of Arms in 2014, Queen’s Counsel in 2015 and given an honorary Doctor of Laws by Edinburgh Napier University in 2016. He is a Knight of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, becoming the Scottish Priory’s Chancellor in 2018, and he was made Commander of the British Empire in the same year. He is also an active Scottish Freemason and is at present First Grand Principal of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland. Finally, Dr Morrow is also a Trustee of a number of charitable Trusts in Dundee, which distribute considerable sums of money to the good causes within the City.

His letter, written on 10 November 2019 at his home in Tealing, Angus:


Dear Archie,
     I hope that my letter finds you well. Thank you for your kind letter containing an invitation to become an honourary member of Irvine Burns Club.
     I feel deeply honoured by the invitation and undeserving. I am however as you imagine delighted.
     I wholeheartedly accept the invitation and look forward to being with you on the 24th January 2020.
     Yours sincerely,
     Joe Morrow

His acceptance letter is on headed paper bearing his crest, name and titles 'Dr Joseph J Morrow, CBE, QC, LLD, The Rt Hon Lord Lyon'.

The photo above shows Dr Morrow as the special guest of the Club directors in March 2019.

Dr Morrow refers to attending the 2020 Annual Celebration.

Sir Boyd Tunnock (1933-....) Honorary member 2020

His life & work:

Sir Boyd Tunnock has, for many years, promoted Burns' works, and Tunnock's have encouraged young (primary age) budding poets to submit a rhyme on the back of a Caramel Wafer wrapper, the winner getting the ultimate golden ticket - a VIP tour of the Tunnock's factory. (Poet Laureate Ted Hughes had penned three such in 1987!) Sir Boyd is also known for many acts of charitable generosity within local communities, the Salvation Army, the National Lifeboats, and Scotland in general.

Boyd Tunnock joined the family bakers business in 1949 and worked with his father and brother Tom developing both the shop and catering side.The early 50's saw the introduction of Caramel Wafers, Caramel Logs, Teacakes and Snowballs. During National Service (1954-56), he served in the army catering corp and managed to become Cooks Sergeant after his two years - quote "finished cooking for 600 soldiers". Back in the business Boyd became very interested in the technical and engineering side of things and has done all jobs within the factory from mixing raw materials, repairing machines and packing biscuits where necessary. The business has gone from strength to strength and now has an international reputation for quality and value for money.

Boyd has been an elder of the church for over 50 years and gives much of his time and resource to charitable work. As a keen sailor one of his favourite charities is the RNLI and he was a key member of the fundraising committee that raised money for a new lifeboat at Troon. His current yacht is called LEMERAC - Caramel backwards.

In June 2019 Boyd received his biggest accolade when he was awarded a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to business and charity.

His letter, written on 16 December 2019, from his home in Glasgow:


Dear Archie,
     Thank the members of Irvine Burns Club for inviting me [to] be an Honorary Member of the Club.
     My birthday is 25th January 1933 so I share the bard's special day.
     It is a great honour to be given this accolade.
     Kindest regards,
     Sir Boyd Tunnock


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