Top marks to the Lourdes Parish Theatre Group for organising a first class Burns Supper on Saturday night.
It was quality from start to finish with great speakers and wonderful musicians. I was worried that Tommy's Toast to the Lassies was a bit too near the knuckle especially for a church hall but he got away with it - just.
It would be inappropriate in a family newspaper like the Evening Times to recall much of what he said but he enlisted the help of his good friend and multi-talented comedian Des Clarke and it certainly raised some laughs.
I particularly liked the Bill Cosby quip that women don't want to hear what you think they want to hear what they think but in a deeper voice.
He did, however, pay tribute to women and invited the men to pause for thought when they admired the dancing skills of Fred Astaire. Ginger Rodgers did all the same steps but backwards and with high heels on.
Of course with Tommy's two sisters present he had to pay proper homage to the essential role of strong women in his life or else he might have ended up getting his backside skelped.
The man who shot Che Guevara
I don't go to every meeting that Tommy speaks at because I figure I've heard it all before. However, occasionally I tag along and more often than not I learn something new or understand things better.
Last Thursday, Tommy was invited to address a pro-independence rally in Fife. The meeting was held in the beautiful St Bryce Kirk Church in Kirkcaldy. What a stunning venue it was. It used to be a Free Church and was taken over by The Church of Scotland. In fact Gordon Brown's father used to be the minister at St Bryce's. Over 300 people attended the meeting and Tommy passionately put forward his pro-independence argument very well and was warmly received. It was, however, a wee story he told that night which I had never heard before that interested me the most.
It involved another small country with a tremendous history, Cuba. The name Che Guevara is world renowned. He has been an inspiring figure to millions over many years. The name Mario Teran is, however, virtually unknown. Yet it was Mario Teran who shot and killed Che while he was a wounded prisoner of the Bolivian army on October 9, 1967. Mario Teran was a sergeant in the Bolivian army and was one of the soldiers who drew lots to decide who was to kill Che. In an act of incredible forgiveness and humanity some four decades later, Mario Teran's cataract blindness was treated by Cuban doctors sent to Bolivia to implement a free programme of eye treatments across Latin America. In 2006, the man who shot one of the leaders of the Cuban revolution had his blindness cured by doctors from that country. He was able to see his grandchildren for the first time. I have had the pleasure of holidaying in Cuba on five separate occasions. The people are so kind and helpful. I thought their treatment of Mario Teran's blindness in 2006 summed up how noble they are as a nation.