Whatever mitigates the woes
or increases the happiness of others -
this is my criterian of goodness
And whatever injures society at large,
or any individual in it -
this is my measure of iniquity
For thus the royal mandate ran,
When first the human race began;
The social, friendly, honest man,
Whate'er he be
'Tis he fulfills great Nature's plan
And none but he.

 

The Winnipeg Robert Burns Club was founded in the fall of 1907, by a group of Scotsmen largely employed in the CPR shops at Weston.  They resolved to celebrate the birth of Burns "in a suitable manner."  Consequently the first Burns Supper held under their auspices was held on January 25, 1908.
In 1911 the Winnipeg Burns Club affiliated with the Burns Federation in Scotland.
During the years of World War One the club was dormant, reviving again in 1934.
The first women joined the club in 1954.
In 1986 the Burns Club added "Robert" to its name, officially becoming the Winnipeg Robert Burns Club.

 

At the first Burns Supper in 1908, the key address of the evening, the Toast to the "Immortal Memory" was delivered by Dr. C. W. Gordon (otherwise known as Ralph Connor, Canadian author of 26 novels based in Western Canada, and a resident of the Armstrong Point area of Winnipeg)

 
Following the post-war revival, in 1936, a statue of Robert Burns was erected on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature, a project first concieved of in 1911. 
The statue is a bronze figure of the poet, created by George Lawson and is identical to one he created in Ayr, Scotland, close to the birthplace of Burns.
The club continue to gather around the statue annually in July to lay a wreath in memory.


 
As mentioned above, the Winnipeg club has been a member of the Burns Federation (now the Robert Burns World Federation Ltd) since 1911.  It is also a member of the Robert Burns Association of North America (founded 1981).  These memberships enable us to connect with over 400 clubs and to attend their events worldwide.  In the club's centennary year of 2007 Winnipeg played host to the Annual General Meeting and Conference of the  Federation, and four years later hosted the RBANA Conference. 
A number of members of the club have served on the RBANA board in recent years; 3 as President.

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