The NAMA blog posts news from the Isle of Man and Manx-related stories from around the world. Feel free to exchange ideas, thoughts and suggestions concerning your Manx heritage.
Please leave a comment under items that interest you. If you want to start a topic, email email@example.com with your post. Find the NAMA Website at www.northamericanmanx.org. We're also on Facebook!
In true Celtic spirit two Manx groups
will be heading across the Irish Sea to Wales to represent the Isle of Man at
Cwlwm Celtaidd, the Celtic Festival of Wales.
Known widely for its focus as a family
festival of music, song and dance, it attracts representative groups from each
of the Celtic nations for a fun-filled weekend in the southern Welsh coastal
resort of Porthcawl; which this year was well oversubscribed.
Proceedings kicked off with a free
opening concert at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff at the
The Mollag Band
end of last year, as
a taster of what’s to come this month at the Grand Pavilion, situated on
Porthcawl’s Victorian esplanade.
This will be the start of a busy year for
the mighty Mollag Band who will be entertaining audiences at the festival with
innovative songs and original tunes. Performing an eclectic mix of self-penned works
and traditional material in both Manx and English, look out for their new CD,
due out soon.
Manx dancers Perree Bane, who are based
in the south of the Island, always attract attention with their colourful
costume and dramatic presentation, and like the Mollag Band are no strangers to
this annual festival. Founded in 1982, Perree Bane’s aim is to keep alive the
extensive repertoire of Manx traditional dances, with some innovations here and
both at home and abroad.
Meanwhile the Manx links continue in the
company of Welsh band Jamie Smith’s Mabon, who will be headlining at Cwlwm
Celtaidd, with Adam Rhodes (Barrule)
playing bouzouki and two other members of the group married to Manx girls.
the interchange of Celtic music becomes more popular, there’s a unique
opportunity to hear two of today’s leading instrumentalists, from Scotland and
Brittany, in concert next Monday evening (10th March) at Bunscoill
Stewart (Uilleann Pipes and Wooden Flute) from Scotland and Heikki Bourgault
(Guitar) who hails from Brittany will be visiting the Island as part of a
European tour to launch their latest CD Hunter’s
Heikki Bourgault & Calum Stewart
meeting on the Isle of Man at a late night music session whilst visiting with
separate bands on a previous occasion, their musical friendship has
successfully married old melodies with an inspiring, assertive interaction,
revealing a fresh outlook on an expanding Celtic repertoire.
rooted in the traditional music of his native northern Scotland, Calum is
influenced by his work with the Irish, Breton and Scandinavian traditions,
whilst Heikki’s open-tuned guitar work has evolved from his background as a
Breton dancer and musician.
open at 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start – tickets priced at £10 (adults) £2
(children) available by phoning (07624) 406876 or on the door if not sold out.
recent Manks concert organised by the Isle of Man branch of the Celtic Congress
at the Centenary Centre in Peel proved a sell-out, as people from across the
Island joined together to enjoy a cross-generational evening of entertainment.
was a night of music, song, dance and poetry with well-known Manx speaker, Bob
Carswell, acting as compére.
based traditional dance group Ny Fennee kicked off proceedings, followed later
by a selection of versatile singers which included Marlene Hendy (past winner
of the Traditional Song Class at the Pan Celtic Festival), Ruth Keggin (debut CD
now available) and contributions from Manx Gaelic choir Caarjyn Cooidjagh, with
music by Tree Cassyn and Scammylt.
readings with a Manx flavour provided a cross-section of sobriety and humour with
contributions from brothers John and Philip Kennaugh, and a rare opportunity to
hear an old master at work. At 98 years old Laurence Kermode remains unfazed by
the sight of a full house, and without a script in sight was able to hold the audience
in the palm of his hand with a command that belies his years.
second half of the evening was dominated by the Michael Players with their
final showing of the popular dialect play The Dumb Cake. It was the last
performance, before retirement, of lead actors Ann Corlett and Win Callister,
who were presented with a bouquet of flowers at the close of the play.
for the Manx branch of the Celtic Congress, Roy Kennaugh, remarked, “Besides
the objective to raise funds, it was a great opportunity to bring together a
variety of quality acts for a very enjoyable evening.”
of the concert will be used to help finance travel and accommodation costs for
musicians and a speaker to represent the Isle of Man at the International
Celtic Congress in Cardiff later this year.
of Man Stamps and Coins have joined with the Royal British Legion to
commemorate the centenary of World War I with a miniature sheet featuring what
has become known as Trench Art; which will form part of a four-year thematic
unusual form of creativity originated during World War I in response to a
series of contests sponsored by the popular French magazine Le Pays de France
for the best pieces of work in this genre. The words Trench Art were coined to
describe a wide variety of largely anonymous souvenirs fashioned from the
detritus of war, or from pieces of military equipment by a variety of artisans.
image used within the miniature sheet is taken from a German Christmas card
designed and produced in 1917 at the Knockaloe Internment Camp, situated on the
west coast of the Isle of Man.
taken from the collection of Jane Kimball, a world renowned author and
collector of Trench Art, who is based in the USA.
commented, “In commemoration of the centenary of the Great War, this is a
forthcoming set issued by the Isle of Man Stamps and Coins department of the
Isle of Man Post Office. It showcases a selection of objects made in the craft
shops in German internee camps at Douglas and Knockaloe on the Isle of Man and
some Trench Art pieces made in areas where Manxmen fought during the war. I was
very happy to be able to share images of some pieces from my collection of Isle
of Man internee art so others may enjoy them.”
the accompanying information sheet she explores the origins of Trench Art and
the imaginative uses of waste materials during warfare; the most popular being
spent shell casings decorated with flowers and reminders of specific battles or
General Manager of Isle of Man Stamps and Coins, Maxine Cannon, said, “We were
delighted that we were given the opportunity to work with an avid collector of
such rare and relevant items. Trench Art is a fascinating movement, often
overlooked, and it’s amazing what they have created with items like these. We
are delighted to work together with Jane who has such an extensive collection
and expertise in an area like this. We think the stamp is a great success.”
Although at one time there was little in the way of written material in Manx Gaelic, this has changed dramatically in recent years as the language continues to flourish and demand for material in assorted genre increases.
y Ghruffalo (The Gruffalo’s Child) comes hot on the heels of the recent release
of Yn Ghruffalo (The Gruffalo), the classic children’s picture book written by
Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, which has captured the
attention of children all over the world.
project has been made possible by Culture Vannin together with the financial
Lloyds TSB, and includes a CD of the story narrated by Annie
Director and Head of Banking Operations, Peter Reid, commented, “The
publication of the Manx Gaelic version of Neen y Ghruffalo (The Gruffalo’s
Child) is something Lloyds TSB is very proud to have supported. It’s further illustration
that the language community is vibrant and that the language has a really
by Natalie Nic Shim and edited by Chris Sheard, the book is available at many
Island bookshops priced at £6.99.
£3,226 per head on benefits including the state pension, Income Support and Child Benefit.
£609 per head on social care, comprising £232 on children’s services and £377 on adult services.
£2,120 per head on health services, including £266 each on providing free or subsidised prescriptions, and £168 each on treating Manx patients in the United Kingdom.
£1,072 on education, including £141 on university fees.
£348 on the police, fire and prison services and on other parts of the Department of Home Affairs.
181 on supporting agriculture, fisheries and forestry and the wildlife park.
£66 on waste management, (in addition a further £127 is raised via local authorities or private companies) and £74 on Local Authority housing deficiencies.
£106 per head on public transport and heritage railways.
£45 on sports and arts, including subsidising local swimming pools and £21 on entertainment.
£61 per head on the ports (with a further £124 per head raised in charges), £2 per head on the highways (in addition to the £164 per head collected via Vehicle Duty and registrations), and £82 per head on drainage and operation of the sewerage system.
£740 per head on former government employees’ pensions, of which around £179 comes from current employees’ contributions.
Red Arrows are well known across the world as the public face of the Royal Air
Force and are very popular on the Isle of Man, thrilling thousands of
spectators with their speed, agility and precision.
celebration of their 50th display season, Isle of Man Stamps will be
releasing six stamps in a special anniversary pack in honour of the Red Arrows
team, which is a core part of the Royal Air Force, employing pilots with
previous combat experience.
Red Arrows have performed 4,500 displays in fifty five countries and are
depicted on these Manx stamps in their signature formations, including their
trademark ‘diamond nine’
Cannon, General Manager of Isle of Man Stamps and Coins, said, “The stamps look
fantastic and frame the images of the planes perfectly. We are delighted to be
able to help the Red Arrows celebrate their landmark fiftieth display season
with this commemorative set and to be able to add these to our portfolio of
in association with the Ministry of Defence, they offer high definition
photography, with vibrant images and a high quality finish to create a fitting
celebration of the Red Arrows team.
of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, Squadron Leader Jim Turner, commented, “The
stamps beautifully capture the images of the jets, the sky and the countless
audiences who have enjoyed the displays, performed by the team around the