Hot on the heels of last year’s successful debut of one of the Island’s newest festivals, Our Island Our World returns to Peel on the 30th and 31st August with a host of new bands at the Centenary Centre.

Organised by local musician, Dave McLean, and back by public demand, the festival promises a weekend of exhilarating music. And there’s a great opportunity to discover more about the culture of those from across the world who have made the Isle of Man their home, at a special, free international celebration in the cathedral, surrounding grounds and the Corrin Hall. Here you can experience global food, live music and dance, plenty of children’s activities, workshops (free with concert ticket) exploring the world of Serbian and belly dancing, as well as tribal drumming and singing and the debut performance of a Manx/Bulgarian musical collaboration.

Two concerts will include the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band from the eponymous northern Indian state, playing a wide range of Indian music, the Baghdaddies with their cocktail of Balkan melodies, ska and Latin groove and the highly original sound of Agbeko (with three Manx musicians), inspired by the 1970s dance music of the Nigerian, Ghanaian and Ethiopian dance floor. They’ll be joined by Jally Kebba Susso, combining jazz, rock, blues and Afro-funk with the West African kora, the Faith I Branko quartet mixing the talent of a Roma violinist from Serbia and an English accordionist with ragtime, jazz, swing and classical styles and the Island’s own band Lava with a special Latin set. And there’ll be plenty of room for dancing during the evening concerts.

With thanks to Culture Vannin, Thornton Chartered Financial Planners and the Isle of Man Arts Council for their support.

Further details from

Valerie Caine

© August 2019

(Courtesy of Manx Life)

Invitation from Stephen Schaitberger

The next meeting of the Minnesota Manx Society will be held on September 21, 2019 at the home of Stephen and Sharli Schaitberger in Brainerd, Minnesota.   We will gather at 11am and have lunch at noon.  The Northern Manx will provide lunch.

I also invite any Manx to join us! I have learned that the Wisconsin Manx Society may be disbanding and extend an invitation to them in particular.

Katy Prendergast, the President of the North American Manx Association will be joining us to share her vision for the 2020 convention to be held August 7-9 2020 at Plymouth, Mass. Miles Standish, the military leader of the Mayflower, was a Manxman.  Special pre-convention gifts will be shared.

Our address is: 1402 S. 8thSt.

Brainerd, MN 56401

Phone: 218-330-1402

E-mail stephenschaitberger(at)

We Brainerd Manx have enough rooms and campers etc. to put up several people for overnight either on Friday Sept 20 or Saturday September 21 if you choose not to drive up and down the same day. Make this a weekend event!!

The theme of our meeting will be “The Cabin Up North”.  Come prepared to share your stories about your family’s adventures up North.  Many Manx found the Minnesota lake cabin to be a reminder of life on the Isle of Man.

Please RSVP so we can get a count for lunch and overnight guests.


At our recent Board Meeting we took a moment to reflect upon some members who have recently passed away, or the news of their passing has just reached us.

Name of Deceased Date of Death Last Residence Person who notified
Corlett, Richard 25-Sep-18 Suqumish, Washington John Prendergast
Creer,Mona 2017 Orland Park, Il John Prendergast
Ernst, Polly Fargher 2018 California Jack Cormode
Quine, Clarence 12-Feb-18 Strongville, Ohio John Prendergast
Scarffe, Albert Anne Scarffe
Shipman, Elizabeth 1-Mar-18 Richardson, TX James Shipman
Todd, David A 14-Aug-17 Tacoma, WA John Prendergast
Bobnar, Gladys M. 22-Jul-15 Sarasota, FL John Prendergast
Ritter, Jane A. 8-May-19 Rochester, NY John Pendergast
Woodruff, Keig 18-Jan-17 Chicago, ILL Brad Pendergast
Schaitberger, Kristin 25-Jul-19 Chaska, MN Stephen Schaitberger
Avril Shipman 29-July-19 Hyattsville, MD Kelly McCarthy
A note from the Chaplain Stephen Schaitberger:
If you know of someone who has died since our last convention in 2018 please
forward this information to me to include name, date of Death, and last residence.
The same is true for those who need our prayers due to serious illness.
Stephen Schaitberger stephenschaitberger(at)
1402 S. 8th St. 218-330-1402
Brainerd, MN 56401
Persons who are in serious Illness
Palmquist, Anita Member
Standish, Norm Past President
Fargher, Larry Honorary President

We’re at the Hotel 1620 in Plymouth, MA having our off-year meeting and planning the 2020 Convention. More news to follow!

All roads lead west on the 9th and 10th August when this year’s Royal Manx Agricultural Show opens the gates for yet another fantastic day out for all the family – whatever the weather.

Firmly established as one of the highlights on the rural calendar, the Royal Manx Agricultural Show, now held at Knockaloe Farm just outside Peel, is the culmination of months of hard work from both show participants and committee members, led by Secretary Carol Kennaugh.

And this year Mrs Fiona Moore has been nominated as the first woman President.

There’ll be an extensive range of craft and trade exhibitors, along with a wide selection of food and drink vendors, including the agricultural show’s own Country Kitchen and Burger Queen catering outlets. There’s been a high demand from trade exhibitors for sites at this year’s show, which will include a cross-section of agricultural merchants, car dealers, charities, conservatories, local banks, as well as health and beauty suppliers, amongst others.

Back by popular demand, is the Ridgeside Falconry Show, with birds of prey featuring in dramatic flying displays and close handling, and lurcher racing – a fun demonstration of speed and agility for dogs. Other entertainment includes sheep shearing, Spike Milton’s Timbersports Lumberjack Show, sheep dog trial demonstrations, dressage to music, classic car and vintage tractor parades and a full musical programme on the bandstand. But this year’s line-up also includes something new in the arena with the world famous Vander Space Wheel of Death, providing the best aerial stunt act in Europe and guaranteed to keep spectators mesmerised.

The event is, of course, at heart an agricultural show, with animal judging and the popular arts and crafts forming the backbone of the event, with the local farming community competing for the ‘best in show’ awards.

It’s also a celebration of Manx life, highlighting such as traditional arts and crafts, the Manx Beekeepers’ Association and the Manx Craft Guild. Additionally, the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture will be showcasing Manx produce and tempting visitors to buy an extensive range of local food.

Carol Kennaugh, Secretary of the Royal Manx Agricultural Show, said “There really is something for everyone at this year’s show – it’s very much a family day out and we try to appeal to everyone from all walks of life. While we will always remain an agricultural show, dedicated to maintaining traditions that have been upheld for years, it’s important that we move with the times. We’ve had great demand from exhibitors and are delighted to see so much interest from the community in what is one of the Island’s longest running events. We are extremely grateful to each and every one of our sponsors, particularly Manx Telecom, Conister Bank and Pokerstars, for all their support.”

The ultimate prize for exhibitors will be the Deemster Johnson’s Supreme Award, presented for the best animal in show by His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor Sir Richard Gozney and sponsored by Conister Bank.

Gates open 9.00am – 5.00pm on both days with tickets priced at £7 (Friday) and £9 (Saturday), children £1 on either day with those under the age of four allowed in free. Dogs permitted on short leads only. Pre-show tickets available from outlets across the Island, or from the show’s website.

Further information available from, or by telephoning 801850.

Valerie Caine

© August 2019

(Courtesy of Manx Life)

(Since publication of this article first day of the event cancelled due to atrocious weather conditions)

The forty ninth edition of the Lorient Interceltique Festival will this year focus on celebrating the region of Galicia, recognised for its language, culture and traditions, with a strong Manx contingent alongside during the ten day event.

Holding a population of almost two million people, Galicia, situated on the Atlantic coast, is surrounded by the Principality of Asturias, Castilla y León and Portugal, but has preserved its language, culture and traditions. The music, song and dance of this region has long been established at the Lorient Interceltique Festival, but so too has the famous Galician gastronomy, which can be savoured at the Pavilion Galicien.

One of Galicia’s most famous musical exports, Carlos Nunez, who will be performing in Lorient, is a multi-instrumentalist who plays the gaita, the traditional Galician bagpipe, Galician flute, ocarina, Irish flute, whistle and low whistle, previously performed on the Isle of Man.

But you can also sample performances from other Celtic nations, including the Isle of Man, with presentations from the highly regarded Mollag Band, producing original songs in Manx and English and an up-and-coming group of dancers known as Skeddan Jiarg, who have developed a growing reputation for introducing young children to Manx dancing. Additionally, there will be the Mera Royle Trio (including Owen Williams and Raygie Dolloso), artwork by Julia Ashby-Smyth and an opportunity to sample Fynodoree Gin. Here too will be the popular Manx Pavilion on the Quai des Pays Celtes, supported by Culture Vannin, Visit Isle of Man and the Isle of Man Arts Council and the premiere of a new documentary about Mera, produced by local young film-makers, Dark Avenue, at a CineFIL events.

Described as the cosmopolitan heart of the twentieth century, the Lorient Interceltique Festival emerged from the Lorient International Bagpipes Festival, launched in 1971.

Recognised as one of the thirteen most important festivals in Europe by the European Commission in 1996, it’s an extravaganza of Celtic culture, with an extensive programme of concerts, shows, parades, literary meetings, sports events, gastronomic tastings and exhibitions of contemporary arts and crafts. More than seven hundred thousand festival-goers gather each year in the streets of Lorient to immerse themselves in Celtic culture from Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Acadia, Asturias, Cornwall, Galicia, Ireland and, of course, the Isle of Man. The Celtic Diaspora also draws performers from Australia, New Zealand and Argentina.

Festival Director, Lisardo Lombardia, said, “I am working with the festival’s values, the identity of each Celtic nation, but also with an open mind, constantly searching for contemporary perspectives.”

With over four thousand artists, twelve stages, two hundred concerts and shows, and almost two thousand volunteers to co-ordinate, the festival has become a hub of cultural exchange with huge potential for Manx tourism, where those supporting the event discover the value of sharing and conviviality.

Valerie Caine

© August 2019

(Courtesy of Manx Life)


Hailing from Prince Edward Island, the smallest province of Canada, Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys have just finished their latest UK tour and appeared for the second time at the Centenary Centre in Peel, where a packed auditorium tapped their feet in unison with the unmistakable vitality of fiddle player and dancer Gordie MacKeeman.

Gordie is known to one and all as ‘crazy legs’, which needs little explanation if you’ve seen the show, but there’s an unmistakable synergy between members of the band, the audience and their island status, which offers a familiarity to those who live on the Isle of Man.

Their performance draws favourably on each band member’s multi-instrumental capability, as they move effortlessly between various musical instruments with a long held, unflustered confidence, which reflects their ability to work closely together as a unit in concert.

Happily slipping into other genres, it’s fair to say that they are recognised for traditional bluegrass and roots music in their live and exhilarating shows, which have drawn international attention and awards such as the Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards and the Galaxie Supernova Award at the Ottawa Folk Festival.

The Rhythm Boys have also performed at the legendary Glastonbury Festival, The Woodford Folk Festival, WOMAD and Celtic Connections, as well as before enthusiastic audiences at sold-out venues, festivals and theatres across Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Malaysia and Australia.

Their crowd pleasing performance ended with an encore of the song The Craic was Ninety in the Isle of Man, written by Barney Rush and performed by many Irish singers and groups since the 1960s.

Valerie Caine

© July 2019

The American Civil War (1861-1865) is a conflict which still resonates strongly today. As might be anticipated, immigrant participation was significant, particularly in the Union forces, and is generally well documented. However, this book is the first to explore the role played by men from the Isle of Man,a small island in the middle of the Irish Sea.

From a broad overview of the contribution of Manx soldiers, the author draws on previously unresearched military service records, extant war-time correspondence and other documentary evidence to focus on the war-time experiences of more than 50 Manxmen who played their part in the ‘new birth of freedom’ of the United States.

About the author:

John Murray is a retired solicitor now living on the Isle of Man. A long-time student of the American Civil War, he has published numerous articles on diverse aspects of the conflict.This is his first book on the ‘War between the States’.


Go here to purchase:

Cost is £19.99 which is around $24


Isle of Man Classic TT August 24, 25, 26 2019

Isle of Man, – August 24-25-26 – For the 7th consecutive year, Team Obsolete has been invited back to the Isle of Man Classic TT, this time to display and parade two genuine exotic bikes from its world renowned collection: the 1976 Agostini MV Agusta 350/4 and the 1959 Surtees AJS Special.

Ten-time TT winner, fifteen-time FIM world champion, Giacomo Agostini will be riding the MV Agusta 1972/76 350 cc 4 cylinder Assen winner at the Jurby Festival and will be participating in a Special Lap of Honour on the fabled 37 mile “Mountain Circuit.” This is the same bike that he rode to victory in his last 350 Grand Prix, Assen 1976. (see article here.)

In addition to Giacomo Agostini, Classic Racing Legend, Dave Roper, the first American to win a TT will be riding the 1959 Surtees AJS Special which was recently honored at the ASI MotoShow in Varano, Italy. The “Surtees” had a long and distinguished career in ARTER EQUIPPE. Riders Mike Duff and Peter Williams scored many high placings just behind the Italian Multis. Williams was second behind Agostini’s MV 350/3 at the 1966 Isle of Man “Junior” TT.

Team Owner, Rob Iannucci said, “We are thrilled to return these great riders and bikes to the Isle of Man, the world’s greatest race circuit.”

Many thanks to our sponsors: AVON Tyres, Vanson Leathers, and Red Line Synthetic Oil.

Now in its forty first year, the Yn Chruinnaght Celtic Gathering is firmly established in its role as an annual celebration of music, song, dance, language and culture in Peel, and is recognised as one of the longest-running Celtic festivals in Europe – which later this month will present a packed programme of entertainment from both at home and abroad.

A series of evening concerts at the Centenary Centre, opens this year with Welsh Celtic super-group Mabon, celebrating their twentieth anniversary. They will be joined by one of the Island’s best-loved groups, The Mollag Band, before they head off to the Festival Interceltique de Lorient.

And there are other great musicians to come during the week. Highly acclaimed Scottish harpist Rachel Hair, familiar to many on the Island as Culture Vannin’s harp teacher with over twenty young Manx students under her wing, will be joined by guitarist Ron Jappy to promote their new album.

Singer Lors Landat and accordionist Thomas Moisson from Brittany will join local harpist Mera Royle (winner of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Musician 2018) and keyboard/fiddle player/composer David Kilgallon (King Chiaullee/Chronicles/Mec Lir) for the premiere of an exciting, new Breton-Manx collaboration.

But headlining the final concert, will be Irish singer and bouzouki player Daoirí Farrell, accompanied by Robbie Walsh (bodhran) and Michael O’Connell (uilleann pipes). Armed with several BBC2 Folk Awards and a new album produced by Irish music legend Donal Lunny, Daoirí was recently awarded Male Vocalist of the Year by LiveIreland. They’ll be supported by Manx flautist Peddyr Cubberley, Malcolm Stitt (guitar) and Russell Cowin (bodhran) under the guise of the Peddyr Cubberley Trad Trio.

However, there’s plenty of other entertainment to enjoy during the week-long event at various venues, including the multi-talented Cornish Davey family, as well as Falkirk Piping and the Glenbervie Folk Duo from Scotland. And there’s a rare opportunity to learn more about Appalachian music and dance and its connections with the Celtic world, with Appalachian banjo player Randy Wilson based in Kentucky, USA, and his son Gabe Dansereau, who specialises in old-time fiddle.

Several visiting groups will also participate in educational outreach sessions and Francis Boutle Publishers will be selling a selection of minority language publications – reflecting the 2019 International Year of Minority Languages.

During the final weekend, Cathedral Isle of Man will become the hub for an afternoon of free community events, including outdoor entertainment, acoustic recitals, children’s activities, workshops, refreshments and the Artisan Craft Fair.

Music and dance displays will also be on offer at the House of Manannan the following day, together with indoor activities, with informal music sessions during the week in Peel and at Noa Bakehouse in Douglas.

Credit: Paul Michael Hughes

Sponsors are always welcome, but organisers wish to thank Culture Vannin, the Isle of Man Arts Council, Culture Ireland, Thornton Chartered Financial Planners, Malcolm Scott Dickinson Charitable Trust and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Also the support of Manx National Heritage, Cathedral Isle of Man, Department of Education, Sport and Culture, Peel Town Commissioners, the Department of Enterprise and local venues.

Concert and ceili tickets (including the special festival pass) are available from their website, with single tickets also available from Celtic Gold, or phone the Festival Office on 07624 302200.

Further information about the festival from, Facebook or Twitter.

Valerie Caine

© July 2019

(Courtesy of Manx Life)