As I write this, the people of New Zealand will be waking, not just to a new day but to a new year as well. As the world turns this will happen also in Australia, Dubai, South Africa, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and then Canada and the United States. Imagine the prospect a New Year brought to those Manx people who decided long ago to make their homes in the far corners of the world. From the days of sailing ships through the spread of steam railways, the advent of the motor car and tractor, as life moved on the challenges changed but the spirit and determination of the Manx settlers to succeed never waned.
Modern day changes brought about by the financial problems of the world may make similar demands on the spirit and determination of us all in the year to come. How good it is then that we have such a common bond through “the gem of God’s earth”. This past year the World Manx Association, which was set up to act as an umbrella group for all the Manx Societies throughout the world,celebrated its centenary. How pleased we were that Manx descendants from across the world were able to join us in the week long programme of events that took place during Tynwald Week. How grateful we were to Ramsey Crookall and Company, stock and share brokers, who hosted our two special receptions at either end of the week. It was Ramsey’s father A.B.Crookall who brought about the first great Home Coming across the Atlantic in 1927 and who was greatly instrumental in the formation of NAMA which created greater links and cooperation between all the Manx Societies in Canada and th! ! e States which continues to this day.
We look forward to NAMA holding its Convention here in the Isle of Man in 2014 and to welcoming you “back home”.We would like to think that A.B.Crookall will be remembered in a similar way as we did with Richard Cain, by placing a garland on his grave, as a mark of respect and in gratitude for what he did in forming the WMA and in making so many Manx people welcome when they returned home. What Richard did was to follow the words of T.E.Brown when he gave his very last lecture in the Isle of Man just before his untimely death at his old college at Bristol. Richard Cain gave them a hearty welcome and then as they left sent them off with renewed vigour to the land of their adoption. We have tried to follow this and also look forward to welcoming all Home Comers throughout 2012. We would ask that you let us know if you are planning to come so that a welcome will await you too.
Finally, on behalf of the World Manx Association , can I extend to you all, wherever you may be, our sincere good wishes for a healthy and happy New Year.
Your Brother in Manxland,