On this page: the 26 panels created for the 2009 exhibition 'Dear Mr Burns' - each panel has an image of the Honorary Member, a short biographical note, the text of the acceptance letter, and some associated information. Irvine Burns Club continues to display the panels at functions.

The first two Honorary Members were, in 1828, the Irvine-born James Montgomery, by then in Sheffield, and John Galt, by then establishing towns in Ontario, Canada. Since then, over 300 individuals have accepted nomination from around the world, their letters preserved.

This exhibition was supported by Homecoming Scotland 2009, The Scottish Government, Irvine Bay Regeneration Company, and North Ayrshire Council.

Welcome Panel

Every nominee is requested to accept in their own handwriting, though this is not always done, with some typed, some prepared by secretaries for signing, and even one emailed. Their letters have all been transcribed to be available online. The letter shown on the Welcome panel is the witty and poetic acceptance of Honorary Membership from Anne Lorne Gillies, the singer, teacher and academic, in 1998, including a greeting in Gaelic.

Scroll down this page to see all the panels . . .

All 300+ Honorary Members are featured in a separate section - check it out 
(opens in a separate tab)

In the honorary member section, you will find, for each individual, biographical information, with indications of why Irvine Burns Club nominated them, and the text of their letter of acceptance - each one is eminent in some way, and well worth reading about.

Page in preparation

This page is unfinished - please check back in third week of January

Sean Connery

Sean Connery

(#2) The Edinburgh-born James Bond (1962) accepted in 1989.  
Read more . .

Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus

(#3) Jack Niklaus, the three times Open winner, accepted in 1981.
Read more . .

John Galt

John Galt

(#4) The Irvine-born author accepted from Guelph in 1828.
Read more . .

Mobirise

Charles Dickens

in prep.

Mobirise

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

in prep.

Mobirise

Gen. Giuseppe Garibaldi

in prep.

Mobirise

Pres. Theodore Roosevelt

in prep.

Mobirise

Sir Winston Churchill

in prep.

Mobirise

Sir Alexander Fleming

in prep.

Mobirise

Dr Roger Bannister

in prep.

Mobirise

Margaret Thatcher, MP

in prep.

Mobirise

Scottish Secretaries & First Ministers

in prep.

Mobirise

Sporting Heroes

in prep.

Mobirise

Leaders in War

in prep.

Mobirise

Royalty & a Royal Burgh

in prep.

Mobirise

an Irvine dimension

in prep.

Mobirise

Human Endurance

in prep.

Mobirise

Scottish Entertainers

in prep.

Mobirise

from the Emerald Isle

in prep.

Mobirise

Partners in Crime

in prep.

Mobirise

in many languages

in prep.

Mobirise

writers of fantasy

in prep.

Mobirise

Philanthropists

in prep.

Mobirise

in prep.

in prep.

#1 Welcome: 

#2 Sean Connery. This panel also celebrates John Grierson (accepted 1960), the 'father' of British and Canadian documentary film, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr (accepted 1995), who began his career in silent films, and wrote his acceptance from the QE2 on QE2 headed paper.

in prep.

in prep.

in prep.

'Dear Mr Burns' was sponsored by

Homecoming Scotland 2009
Scottish Government
North Ayrshire Council
Irvine Bay Regeneration
Irvine Burns Club

  • Wellwood Burns Centre & Museum
  • 28 Eglinton Street,
  • Irvine, Ayrshire, KA12 8AS

Mobirise website builder - Details here