Fleshers Standard Bearer Ivor Ward raised many laughs at the Bussin Ceremony in the Victoria Halls.
Ivor started by thanking his brother Andrew, for his ribbing, off-the-cuff introduction. “At times I didn’t recognise who he was speaking about,” he said, “but I suppose everything he said was nearly true.
“I am currently a stone mason, but my first job was an apprentice butcher at Low’s in Galashiels, before moving to Hogg’s a couple of years later. As my brother has already said, through my misfortune my mother was on first name terms with the staff at the Cottage Hospital.
“Sadly these shops are no longer with us. It is good to see the butcher shops in the town are taking on apprentices so the trade can continue. The words of the Selkirk Grace prove to me that there will always be meat-eaters in Selkirk; so long may the trade continue to grow.”
Ivor’s wife Sara, his Lady Busser, recited a humorous poem about her husband earlier in the evening. Responding, Ivor thanked her “for the gracious manner in which she Bussed my Flag,” before adding: “As most of you know, I am a man of few words, as my wife normally does the talking. On that note I’m glad she could make it tonight: I heard they were considering her for Colonial Standard Bearer next year, because she never seems to be in the country. To stand here in front of you is a great honour and a privilege. Allan Linton and Gordon Newlands introduced me to the Craft almost twenty years ago; I never thought that one day I would be elected Standard Bearer, adding another link in the chain that is the Fleshers’ heritage. Perhaps I should have known this was my destiny as my grandfather was the Braw Lad in 1931.
“Back when all the pubs were really busy, I can remember standing at Bogie’s Close listening to Common Riding songs being sung with passion, and I could feel the hairs stand up on the back of my neck, and I thought , that’s where I need to be. To stand here is an honour and a privilege. The great day is near. I feel almost ready to re-enact history.”