Cabinet declared. Just two ministers fail to get position

Howard Quayle, chief_ministerThe political memberships of every government department have been announced. The only MHK not to get a position is Chris Robertshaw, member for Douglas East. He had been Minister for Policy and Reform in Allan Bell’s administration but stormed out of the Council of Ministers last year, frustrated at the slow pace of change in government.

Mr Robertshaw said he wanted to concentrate on scrutiny of government. Members of departments get 30 per cent more on their salary. Members of the Treasury get 40 per cent more. Ministers get 50 per cent more.

Cabinet Office: Ministers Howard Quayle and Chris Thomas. Member David Ashford.

Economic Development: Minister Laurence Skelly. Members Daphne Caine, Rob Callister, Tim Crookall, Lawrie Hooper and Martyn Perkins.

Education and Children: Minister Graham Cregeen. Members Geoff Corkish, Ann Corlett and Lawrie Hooper.

Environment, Food and Agriculture: Minister Geoffrey Boot. Members Tim Baker, David Cretney and Martyn Perkins.

Health and Social Care: Minister Kate Beecroft. Members Clare Bettison, Rob Callister, Ann Corlett and Jason Moorhouse.

Home Affairs: Minister Bill Malarkey. Members Alex Allinson, Clare Bettison, Michael Coleman and Juan Turner.

Infrastructure: Minister Ray Harmer. Members David Anderson, Tim Baker, Julie Edge and Jason Moorhouse.

Treasury: Minister Alfred Cannan. Members Bill Henderson, Ralph Peake and Bill Shimmins.

Planning committee chairman: Tim Baker Children’s champion: Daphne Caine.

Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK announced the appointments, as agreed by the Council of Ministers, today. Proposals for the chairmanships and vice chairmanships of statutory boards, which are subject to approval by Tynwald, will be announced in due course. Mr Quayle said: ‘I am impressed and encouraged by the eagerness of Tynwald members, both old and new, to get on with the job and work together for the good of the island. ‘The departmental memberships combine fresh faces and fresh ideas with experience and continuity.’ MLC Tony Wild, convicted last year of drink driving, has also not been given a role.

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Posted in IOM Government

Join Bree for their 10th Anniversary Weekend

bree-logo If you’re aged 10 – 18 and have a creative flair for music, song, dance, or storytelling, you are warmly invited to join a number of local tutors at Culture Vannin’s Bree workshop weekend at the Youth Arts Centre in Douglas, on the 29th and 30th October.

Bree is a Manx Gaelic word meaning vitality, or energy, which aptly describes the group of students from school years 6 – 13, who meet monthly to pursue their interest in Manx traditional music and dance. Members of the group are given the opportunity of meeting for informal music sessions, public performances and workshops.

Additionally, students can also apply for the up and coming Big Bree Workshop Weekend, with a choice of music, song, drama, composition, or song writing in either English, or Manx Gaelic. The weekend concludes with a concert on Sunday afternoon, when past members, tutors and students’ families are invited to celebrate the group’s tenth birthday.

At just £10 for the entire weekend, experience of Manx music, or the language, is not necessary, although musicians are expected to be competent on their chosen instrument.

For more information about Bree contact Dr Chloë Woolley, the Manx Music Development Officer for Culture Vannin at, or telephone 694758.

Application forms can be downloaded from – deadline 21st October.


Valerie Caine

© October 2016

Posted in Uncategorized

Manx Groups Fly the Flag at Celtic Colours Festival in Nova Scotia

barrule-manx-flag As the breathtaking scenery of Cape Breton Island takes on a rich mantle of vibrant colour during its most spectacular season, the twentieth anniversary Celtic Colours Festival will also be attracting many visitors and musicians – including two groups from the Isle of Man.

Local favourites Mec Lir and Barrule made a memorable impact at the annual event on previous occasions, and have been invited back especially for the anniversary celebration. They will join a number of international artistes from Japan, Russia, Jamaica, Scotland and Ireland, as well as rubbing shoulders with some of the finest musicians, singers and dancers from Cape Breton Island itself.

The award-winning festival, which continues for nine days, provides a welcome extension for the tourism season, and since its inception has matured into one of Canada’s premiere musical events, as well as a cultural highlight on Nova Scotia’s calendar.

Inspired by nineteenth century settlers from Scotland and Ireland, and influenced by the Island’s Aboriginal Mi’kmaq people, Cape Breton’s isolation proved to be an ideal cultural preservative. Venues for an eclectic line-up of events range across the Island, as the community pulls together in a bid to celebrate a living culture.

Promoters of the festival pursue a goal of building relationships both within and without its territory, pulling out all the stops to make this year’s event unforgettable. Food is high on the menu for this gathering, where you can supplement your diet with local sea food, sample a traditional supper of home-made fish cakes, beans and cornbread, try pancake and sausage for breakfast, or something a little more contemporary.

This spills over into a number of farmers’ and community markets, showcasing local food and crafts, but there will be plenty of opportunities to work off all that tasty food, with an extensive programme of events to tickle those taste buds.

With so much beautiful countryside on the doorstep, it’s also an ideal opportunity to join one of the many country hikes and walking tours, designed to reveal different aspects of Island life. Additionally, festival visitors might like to try their hand at pumpkin carving, tour a local coal mine, or join a cranberry picking excursion.mec-lir-not-an-ep

But for those who prefer something a little closer to home, there will be storytelling, blacksmith demonstrations and a chance to learn more about the Celtic Quilt Guild and a Milling Frolic; recreating the traditional Gaelic way of ‘working the cloth’ as they sang.

To help celebrate this special anniversary, a series of exhibitions will be located around the Island giving a retrospective view of the festival, and including singular presentations commemorating the centenary of women’s suffrage in Canada and focusing on Aboriginal art.

With forty nine concerts and in excess of two hundred and fifty events across the Island, it’s going to be difficult to see it all, but many will be heading for the concerts with Mec Lir and Barrule on the programme.

(Photos courtesy of Phil Kneen)

Valerie Caine

© October 2016

(Courtesy of Manx Tails)

Posted in Uncategorized


Manx National Heritage teamed up with Lloyds Bank in the summer holidays to offer the chance for a young designer to create an Isle of Man poster and have it professionally produced as a postcard to be placed on the shelves in Manx National Heritage shops. The competition was in association with the Manx Museum’s Exploratorium which is kindly supported by Lloyds Bank, a playful museum gallery that looks back to the time of the tourism heyday on the Isle of Man.

Young people were tasked with promoting a holiday on the Isle of Man, taking inspiration from old holiday posters, postcards, Island attractions, landscapes and heritage. Many of the entries were designed by young visitors at the Lloyds Bank tent and pop-up Exploratorium at The Royal Manx Show in August.

The chosen winner was the talented Dalainea Brown, aged 10 with her design of some of the Island’s most iconic attractions, as well as our famous Manx Loagtan sheep and the Little People. Dalainea’s design will be produced for display in the Manx Museum Exploratorium and also produced as a limited edition postcard which will be sold in return for a 50p donation to support the work of Manx National Heritage to help preserve and protect the Island’s heritage. Dalainea will also receive a VIP tour with her family at her chosen Manx National Heritage site.

Lucy Felton, Business Development Manager at Lloyds Bank said:

“We are so proud to continue to support Manx National Heritage in the wonderful work they do to preserve and protect the Islands heritage. The quality of the entries for the competition was very high and it was clear that the entrants had all put a great deal of time and effort into their designs.  This did made judging a real challenge, but it was the way that Dalainea’s work illustrated brilliantly so many of the treasures that our very special Island has to offer that convinced us that she was our winner.”

The two runners up were Ellie Katsihtis, aged 10 with an sandy Douglas beach scene and Isle of Man in colourful type who was visiting the Isle of Man on holiday during summer, and Billy Kneen, aged 6 with his bold black and white representation of the Laxey Wheel both received MNH goodies and their designs will also be on display in the gallery.

The Happy Holidays Exploratorium at the Manx Museum is open Monday to Saturday until spring 2017 when it will take on a new theme. Many of the vintage holiday posters can be searched at

dalainea-brown-winner-of-the-poster-competition-with-lloyds-bank-and-manx-museum runner-up-design-by-billy-kneen-age-6 runner-up-design-by-ellie-katsistis-age-10 winning-design-by-dalainea-brown-age-10

Image captions:

  1. Dalainea Brown, winner of the poster competition with (from left) Marcus Avery and Lucy Felton from Lloyds Bank and Paul Welden, Manx Museum Visitor Service Assistant.
  2. Winning design by Dalainea Brown, age 10
  3. Runner up design by Billy Kneen, age 6
  4. Runner up design by Ellie Katsihtis, age 10


Lynsey Clague

Communications Manager

Posted in Culture, IOM Government

The amazing link between the Isle of Man TT, The Statue of Liberty and the Panama Canal


Bob Stimpson and Roy Moore Photo: Valerie Caine            

Two Douglas Isle of Man residents need the public’s help to place a Manx Granite memorial on the final resting place of a great Manxman – William Kennish – in New York!

Bob Stimpson, author of the book on Kennish published in 2011, together with the legendary Manx Radio TT commentator Roy Moore, who is a family descendant of William, have formed the William Kennish Memorial Trust.

Over the next few months Roy and Bob are seeking donations from the public to allow them to commission a Manx granite memorial which will be shipped out to New York to be placed on William Kennish’s currently unmarked final resting place in Green Wood Cemetery, New York. The fund already stands at just over $800 and a further $5,500 is needed to confidently complete the project. Any excess funds will be donated to a Navy charity.

The target is to get most of this raised in the next few months to allow the stone to be cut and carved this year before being shipped to New York in time for its placement and dedication on 19th March 2017 – the 155th anniversary of William Kennish’s death.

William Kennish (1799-1862) was a Royal Navy Master carpenter, inventor, poet and South American explorer who discovered the first route to link the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans without the need of locks. His pioneering exploration work in what is now Columbia eventually lead to the final selection of the Panama Canal route we know today. William’s son, also a William, supervised the construction of the concrete plinth supporting the statue of liberty – so you could say this iconic symbol of America has Manx foundations!

In November 2014 two of William’s American descendants joined Roy and Bob at the opening ceremony for the William Kennish Engineering Centre, Greenfield Road Douglas, which has become a key part of University College, Isle of Man. Earlier in the same year Isle of Man Post featured William on their Panama commemorative stamp and miniature sheet set. You can see the full story at

If you want to donate online, go to for full details. Alternatively email contact for more information!

Posted in History, USA

East Tennessee Celtic Festival & Games – Oct 22 & 23

easttncelticfestEverything is coming up clover! East Tennessee Celtic Festival & Games is an annual event held the weekend before Halloween. This year it will be Oct. 22 & 23 from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM each day and a concert Saturday night starting at 6:30 pm. The cost per person is $7 per day or $20 for the weekend which includes the concert which is $12. There will be Music featuring the Screaming Orphans, Scottish Highland Games, Border Collies Herding Sheep, a Children’s Area, the Woad Warrior Cyclo-cross, Adult and Children’s Costume Contests, Clans, Vendors, Food, and lots of fun for the entire family. For more information go to:, call (423) 741-4841, or call Sycamore Shoals State Park (423) 543-5808.


Posted in Culture, USA

Silvery gibbon enclosure opened at Wildlife Park

stream_imgThe new home of the latest additions to the Curraghs Wildlife Park is officially open.

The Lieutenant Governor was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the enclosure for silvery gibbons Slamet and Nakula, who arrived at the park in July as part of a breeding programme.
The facility has taken two years of work and includes a rope bridge, heated house and island.

David Cretney MLC, Member of DEFA with responsibility for the Curraghs Wildlife Park; Kathleen Graham, the park’s General Manager; His Excellency and Lady Gozney; Richard Ronan, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, and Kim Etherton, Chairman of the Friends of the Curraghs Wildlife Park, at the silvery gibbons’ enclosure.

His Excellency – a keen conservationist and trustee of the UK’s Orangutan Foundation – visited the animals first as he toured the 24-acre park in Ballaugh with Lady Gozney.

They met park staff and members of the Friends of the Curraghs Wildlife Park, a registered charity that supports the work of the attraction and contributed £30,000 towards the cost of the gibbons’ enclosure.

His Excellency said the programme is an excellent achievement for the island’s global outlook on endangered species.

The park’s general manager, Kathleen Graham, told MTTV she’s hoping there could be another new arrival in the near future: [play audio below].

Silvery gibbon enclosure opened at Wildlife Park

Posted in Culture, IOM Government, Uncategorized

BBC report on Tynwald and the Vikings

The BBC covers Ellan Vannin (Isle of Man) in a special regional section. This is an interesting examination of the World’s oldest continuous Parliament. 

Isle of Man election 2016: How the Vikings set up Tynwald

Voters across the Isle of Man will go to the polls on Thursday for the general election.

Twenty-four people will be elected to serve in the House of Keys – the lower chamber of a parliament first established by Viking settlers more than 1,000 years ago.

The first historical references to Tynwald -the world’s oldest continuously sitting parliament – can be found in the Chronicles of Mann.

The Latin manuscript, held at the British Library in London, makes reference to the original Tynwald meetings which were established sometime between the 11th and 14th Century.

The document was written at Rushen Abbey and is one of the most valuable sources of Manx history.

It tells the story of the Viking settlement on the Isle of Man which brought together Scandinavian Paganism and indigenous Christianity.

Chronicle of MannImage copyright BRITISH LIBRARY

Image caption Written in Latin, the Chronicle of Mann documents the Isle of Man’s role as the centre of the Norse Kingdom of Mann and the Isles, the influence of its kings, and religious leaders


To read more go here

Posted in Culture, History, IOM Government, Manx National Heritage Tagged with: ,

Swedish Folk Dancers Visit the Isle of Man

Swedish folk dance grouDSCF5696p Sunnerbogillet recently completed an exchange visit as guests of their long-term friends in the Manx Folk Dance Society, with time in their schedule for joint displays at the Quarter Deck in Port Erin and Laxey Square.

Members of the Manx Folk Dance Society travelled to Ljungby in southern Sweden during 2015, where they visited the Europeade Folk Dance Festival in the town of Helsingborg, on the Baltic coast.DSCF5679

Sunnerbogillet was established in 1959, with a view to studying and promoting Swedish folklore through dance, music, costume, handicrafts and tradition. Distinguished by their colourful costumes, which represent those worn in the nineteenth century homesteads of individual dancers, Sunnerbogillet’s repertoire includes a selection of early, international folk dances and they regularly organise exchange visits with dance groups in other countries.

Recognised for organising children’s dance groups, public entertainment and summer dance programmes, their busy schedule also includes weekly practice sessions for both Swedish and European folk dances, performances, public engagements and workshops.

In-between dance displays, members ofDSCF5695 Sunnerbogillet managed a little sight-seeing, including a visit to Snaefell, a trip on the steam railway, a tour of one of the local breweries and some free time at the Royal Manx Agricultural Show.

Valerie Caine

© September 2016

Posted in Uncategorized

London Manx Society Newsletter September 2016

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 13.11.59
London Manx Society

(Yn Cheshaght Manninagh Lunnin)



                    THE PRESIDENT OF TYNWALD

                    THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF KEYS

President – Professor Bryan Corrin


NEWSLETTER Autumn 2016

Editor – Douglas Barr-Hamilton


Tynwald Cooish

Cambridge is less famous for its lush lawns than for its colleges and almost unknown is the one to be found in Girton behind the house of Sam Weller who, with his wife Mary, played host for this year’s Tynwald Day cooish held, for the first time in recent years, on 5th July itself.

The society’s July event is always less well attended as holidays and competing events clash but an encouraging fourteen made the trip out of the big city to pass the afternoon on grass and patio to renew Manx acquaintances. The members who attended were Bryan and Sheila Corrin, Pam and Mike Fiddik, Colin and Sheila Gill, Sally and Peter Miller, Sam and Mary Weller, Douglas and Margarita Barr-Hamilton, David Hill and Maureen Wigley.  There was no need to sing “Ellan Vannin” to get into expat mode for the food brought to the gathering included bonnag that Sam had made to his mother’s recipe and included in a recipe book of Andreas WI, which Mary Weller, a Bride resident, used to attend. Also, there was a box of Davison’s ice cream that an enterprising Douglas Barr-Hamilton had packed with a freezer block in a cool bag placed in his hold baggage at the end of a recent visit to the Island, thanking Iceland in Ramsey for their help in the endeavour. Finally, Moore’s kippers with particular thanks to Paul Desmond who had made special arrangements to ensure that Peel’s perfect product arrived in the best possible state of freshness. All this with savouries, desserts, cheeses and drinks provided by all attending ensured a feast with much for everyone to enjoy.

Then it was chat in small groups for the conversational, play Giant Connect 4 for the mathematical and explore the garden for the horticultural. Everyone did a bit of each; all gave a few moments to sign a card to wish the Ramsey lifeboat a happy birthday on its 25th anniversary and a few more to admire some Island pictures.

Many hours later, “So long!” and “See you at the Mhelliah!” and a group photograph.


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Posted in Societies