29th January 2010

Taste of Scotland for Tennis Fans in Australia

Tennis fans in Melbourne, Australia will tomorrow (Saturday 30th January) be offered a taste of Scotland when haggis is served to supporters gathered at Melbourne Park.

Quality Meat Scotland has linked up with “Scots of Victoria” to serve the special haggis as a show of support ahead of Andy Murray’s grand slam clash with Roger Federer. If the Scot is successful he will become the first Briton in 74 years to win a grand slam.

“During the weeks round Burns Night (January 25th) thousands of Burns Suppers are held all over the world and haggis, our national dish, is the centrepiece,” said Donald Biggar, chairman of Quality Meat Scotland.

“It seems fitting that, after a week of such inspirational play from Andy Murray and on the eve of this historic match, tennis supporters at the Open should have an opportunity to enjoy our world-famous national dish.”

Among the Scots gathering tomorrow to share the haggis with supporters will be William Tait who emigrated to Australia from Bathgate almost 50 years ago.

William and his wife Bev, who made the special haggis, are members of Scots of Victoria and Melbourne Burns Club, which has been celebrating its 60th anniversary. The club is set to hold its official Burns Supper next Saturday and William’s uplifting “Address to The Haggis” may well be called on tomorrow as supporters’ excitement gains momentum ahead of the final.

When contacted by Quality Meat Scotland, Bev rose to the challenge of making the special dish. The recipe for the haggis which will be served tomorrow is one which William’s mother in Bathgate passed down to Bev whose haggis-making skills have become almost legendary.

She has made several hundred haggis since meeting William, almost five decades ago. However, it was a shared passion for another traditional Scottish pastime which brought the couple, who have been married for 47 years, together.

The pair met when Bev was working as a teacher at a hospital not far from Melbourne. A friend suggested she should try ceilidh dancing to cure her cold feet problem and both her feet and her heart were warmed when she met William at the Scottish country dancing lessons!

“It is wonderful to have Andy in the final and we are all right behind him. I’m sure he can do it – we really hope so!” said Bev.

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