Reih Bleeaney Vanannan Awarded to Bob Carswell

This annual award was presented this year to Bob Carswell for his outstanding and selfless contribution to Manx culture.
Awarded by the Chairman of the Manx Heritage Foundation, the Hon. Phil Gawne MHK, he outlined Bob’s passionate interest in Manx culture, describing him as one of the most knowledgeable and modest of men. Listing Bob’s successes as a skilled poet, songwriter, translator, musician, singer and historian, his extended work in broadcasting and education became a channel for spreading his extensive knowledge about Manx culture, language and history to a much wider audience.
His involvement with writing and broadcasting in Manx began during the 1970s, progressing to the provision of books and rhymes for Manx language playgroups in 1983. Another step forward came in 2006 when he began developing Manx language resources for the Bunscoill Ghaelgagh which has just celebrated its 10th anniversary and Unnid Gaelgagh (Manx Language Unit).
Bob’s devotion and passion for the Island’s native tongue also fuels his creativity for song, with a number of his own compositions arranged and recorded by the Mollag Band, local choir Caarjyn Cooidjagh and contemporary trio Barrule, with new commissions for Island primary schools.
Never tiring of his interest in Manx culture Bob has been involved with many groups and organisations over the years, including dancing with the Manx Folk Dance Society, Bock Yuan Fannee and Bock Bane and playing music with the Calor Gas Ceilidh Band and at many music sessions around the Island. He’s quick to volunteer much of his personal time to organising festivals such as Yn Chruinnaght and the Cooish, but to many he is also a well-known voice on Manx Radio presenting Claare ny Gael, Traa dy Liooar and Shiaght Laa as well as being a member of the Gaelic Broadcasting Committee. Bob has also worked extensively on projects such as Caarjyn as Fennee (children’s cartoons) and YouTube broadcasts on aspects of Manx culture.
As part of his award Bob nominated the Bunscoill Ghaelgagh at St John’s to receive £500 donated by the Manx Heritage Foundation, which will be used to further their successful work educating children through the Manx language.
Valerie Caine
© January 2013