YOUNG achievers from secondary schools and King William’s College were honoured at a ceremony in Douglas today.
The North American Manx Association awards are presented annually to young people under the age of 25 who have excelled in their field or overcome disability. The awards are arranged in five categories and for each category a silver medallion has been minted.
Eddie Teare MHK, Minister for Education and Children, welcomed guests to the ceremony in the Barrool Suite. He commented: ‘It was a delight to attend the presentation, which recognised the achievements made by our young people to preserve our culture, language and heritage. Their involvement injects an enthusiasm which will ensure that our culture will continue to be valued and will be the aspect of our Island life which sets us apart from other communities.’
Laurence Skelly, a past President of the North American Manx Association, presented medallions to:
Music: Cesar Joughin, 14, Queen Elizabeth II High School
Cesar belongs to the Manx Youth Orchestra, a string quartet, his school’s orchestra, its folk group and the Bree la group (which plays Manx music). He plays for Perree Bane and its young offshoot. He plays in family groups the Phurt H’ninjas and Scamaltagh. He has sung and played at Crunniaght Aig, achieving first, second and third places for singing and playing the violin (he holds grade 5). He has written songs in Manx, which he has played in Manx lessons. Amanda Walker, Head of Key Stage 3 at his school, nominated Cesar for a NAMA award, saying that wherever she has been to see live traditional music, Cesar is either playing or in the audience. He is a genuine enthusiast for Manx culture and traditions and he shares his passion among his peers.
Arts and crafts: Daniel Price, 16, Castle Rushen High School
Teacher Roger Kent nominated Daniel, describing him as a dedicated and hard-working student. He said: ‘We have rarely met a young person who has produced such a high volume of quality art work. Daniel has won several art competitions and awards on his way up through school and has just completed his GCSE in art and intends to take A-level art and carry on to university to study architecture. A truly talented artist, Daniel excels in whatever type of media he turns his hand to. He particularly enjoys using acrylics but is equally at home with watercolours, oil pastels, graphite pencil, line and wash, inks and chalk pastel. His overriding theme is the Manx landscape. Daniel is a keen cyclist who travels around the south of the Island sketching and taking photographs. He has produced a series of panoramas as well as abstract studies based on wet road surfaces.’
Manx language: Daniel Quayle, 12, Ballakermeen High School
Daniel is Ballakermeen’s Gaelgeyr Oikoil, its official ‘Speaker of Manx’, and he provides guests with a warm Manx welcome. Nominating Daniel for an award, Headteacher Adrienne Burnett said Daniel greets dignitaries calmly and with an obvious pride in the Manx language. He provides translations of key words and is also responsible for a display about Manx. He is also a contributor to Kiaull Manninagh Jiu (Manx Music Today) and had a musical composition published in the June edition. Daniel’s love of the language and his enthusiasm endear him to all who meet him. ‘I have absolutely no doubt that he will be a driving force in the Manx community and will continue to ensure that the speaking of Manx is promoted at every opportunity,’ said Mrs Burnett.
Manx culture (under 18): Caitlyn Fairbairn, 17, Ramsey Grammar School
Caitlyn was nominated by Manx music specialist Chloe Woolley and Rosie Will-Jones, Subject Leader in Music at RGS, who said Caitlyn lives, breathes and eats all things Manx and is studying the language to A-level, on top of which she helps with the traditional Manx music groups at RGS, assisting with pronunciation of words/pieces etc for Manx folk songs and class repertoire.
Manx culture (group – under 25): The Eco Committee of Rebecca Fong, Sarah Baker, Clare Fisher, Georgia Corlett and Gwilym Jones, all 17, Queen Elizabeth II High School
The students have been leading members of the Eco Committee for three years, during which time it has won UK and international recognition. In June 2009, the school was runner up in the Observer Ethical Award. That month, the students were invited to the International Climate Challenge Change-Makers’ Conference in London. Their project gained a highly commended for its approach to improving understanding, developing practical solutions and sharing information related to climate change. The students’ report of school project Tree-cycle earned them second place in the global Volvo Environmental Award. In September 2009, the school was the winner of the EDF Energy Award for Green Schools. In December, the school’s eco projects won the Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots Award 2009. Nominating the students for a NAMA award, teacher Lesley Sleight said: ‘They have achieved a lot and put an Isle of Man school on the eco-map.’
Manx community: Jay Thompson, 17, King William’s College
Jay quietly gives his time for the benefit of others in the local community and never seeks recognition or glory for his deeds, said Head of Sixth Form Anya Morgans, who nominated him for a NAMA award. He is an Explorer Scout, Scout Leader and Cub Leader for Ballasalla groups two evenings a week. His patience and caring nature make him highly valued. Last summer he tackled the Manx coastal footpath over six days, walking and camping alone, to raise money for Manx Cancer Help. Jay was invited by the Civil Defence to take part in ‘Wales 3000’, climbing 18 peaks (15 over 3000 feet) in 24 hours. He raised £800 for the Isle of Man Children’s Centre. He is also involved in school and sporting clubs (primarily football and kayaking). He gained particular enjoyment from the service element of the Queen’s Scout Award and the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, both of which he has achieved outside of school. This summer he will volunteer with the Children’s Centre and Age Concern.
Overcoming disability: T J Schofield, 13, Ballakermeen High School
TJ has suffered health problems since birth including an operation that placed him in a wheelchair for several months. He is a pupil in the Special Unit. He has been a popular member of the Manx National Youth Theatre and the youth club at Kensington Road, Douglas, since he was eight and had participated in virtually every aspect of the club, from serving on the youth committee, The Crew, to manning the register, clearing out the costume cupboard, making great tea and handling stage curtains on cue. He has joined buskers and taken part in charity bag packs to raise money. Nominating him for a NAMA award, Caroline Walter and Fiona Helleur of Douglas Youth Centre/the MNYT said: ‘His opinion is frequently sought by the various organisations he attends and he always gives a considered view, knowing that what he says and does effects others. He greets everyone with his brilliant smile and a willing attitude that is admired and sought by all. He has appeared on stage in several productions, portraying various characters to the best of his ability – and always with that enviable, magnificent smile.’
Mr Skelly passed on greetings to the gathering from NAMA president Sally Dahlquist, saying she was busy planning the biennial NAMA convention, being held in Colorado in August. He revealed that a reciprocal award, donated by the DEC, would be presented at the event to a young person or group of people in recognition of work they had done to promote awareness of the Isle of Man.
Phil Gawne, MHK, Minister for Infrastructure and a fluent Manx speaker, then presented the awards for the most progress in Manx to two 14-year-olds – Alex Corlett, of Castle Rushen High School, and Doona Lambden, of Queen Elizabeth II High School.
Alex studied Manx for three years at Kewaigue School and, in Year 6, won an all-Island story writing competition with an entry in Manx. Alex has continued to study Manx as an extra subject at Castle Rushen, showing commitment and enthusiasm. Doona attended the Department of Education and Children’s weekly Gaelscoill which was held for several years at Santon and then at Ballacottier. She continued to study Manx at Ballaugh Primary School and then opted to take Manx as her second foreign language at Queen Elizabeth II High School. She enjoys singing in Manx.
President of Tynwald Noel Cringle MLC gave the vote of thanks. He praised the North American Manx Association for keeping the awards, established to mark the Millennium of Tynwald in 1979, going. He said: ‘The recipients of these awards will not forget the afternoon they have had and will be able to put on their CVs in future that they were recipients of NAMA awards. It will stand them in good stead in the future.’
North American Manx Awards 2010
Cesar Joughin – Queen Elizabeth II High School
2. Arts and Crafts
Daniel Price – Castle Rushen High School
3. Manx Language
Daniel Quayle – Ballakermeen High School
4a Manx Culture under 18
Caitlyn Fairbairn – Ramsey Grammar School
4c Manx Culture Grp under 25
The Eco Committee – Queen Elizabeth II High School
Rebecca Fong, Sarah Baker, Clare Fisher, Georgia Corlett,
5a The Manx Community
Jay Thompson – King William’s College
5b Overcoming a Disability
T J Schofield – Ballakermeen High School
Most Progress in Manx Awards
Alex Corlett : Castle Rushen High School
Doona Lambden : Queen Elizabeth II High School
Order of Proceedings
Welcome by the Minister for Education and Children,
the Hon Eddie Teare, ACIB MHK
Presentation of the Medallions by Mr Laurence Skelly,
Past President of the North American Manx Association
Presentation of the Manx Language Awards by
the Minister for Infrastructure,
the Hon Phil Gawne, MHK
Vote of thanks by The President of Tynwald,
the Hon Noel Q Cringle, OBE MLC