As part of their Centenary Year Celebrations the World Manx Association had a very special guest at thas years T. E. Brown Lunch which is held annually on the Saturday nearest to the anniversary of the National Poet’s death in 1897.
The person selected as speaker and proposer of the toast to “The Imortal Memory of T. E. Brown” was Dollin Kelly R.B.V. of Port St. Mary. He was introduced by WMA President, Peter Kelly, who advised that whilst Dollin had been a member since he was a child his father, High Bailiff H. P. Kelly, was one of the founder members and spoke at some of the annual Homecomings on Tynwald Day in those early years.
|Dollin Kelly R.B.V.|
Peter had come into contact the Dollin in Manx Heritage Year through the Manx Heritage Foundation of which Peter was the Secretary. Dollin, together with the late Major Geoffrey Crellin and Dorothy Leece, gave performances at T. E. Brown events that year but Peter said that whilst the other two gave good recitations, Dollin was the deep thinker who was able to get into Brown’s mind to know the true meaning of his work which captured for us what today is called Social History by relating the every day life of the Manx people of his day.
Dollin began by quoting the words of Professor Lascelles Ambercrombie who had criticised Brown’s work, dismissing it in every way possible. Then, by the use of passages from Brown’s poetry (including some lesser known pieces), which he recited from memory without any hesitation, Dollin set about proving the professor to be wrong.
Dollin read from a paper his father gave about the poet in 1930 on the centenary of Brown’s birth. He also included readings from letters that T. E. Brown had written a short time before his death, including one concerning his last lecture in the Isle of Man. He gave this talk at Castletown, but he wasn’t too happy about it as the weather was cold and he was not in the best of health. It was this meeting that the young Richard Cain attended, the same man who was inspired to set up the WMA some 14 years later.
The whole audience was taken with the presentation and the presenter.
The event finished with the singing of the Manx National Anthem.
From information supplied by the World Manx Association.