Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And gorse runs riot in Glen Chass—thank God!

I'm going home, yes, back to the Island via Suffolk. I'll be back at my computer sometime on the 8th. I'm not taking my laptop -- this is not a working trip -- but I'll try and post from my friends' computers. Don't miss me too much!

The quote is from T.E. Brown's poem "Clifton". Although he worked there a long time he missed the Island and wrote this poem around the same time as his classic, "Betsy Lee". Clifton is a boys' boarding school near Bristol where Brown was a housemaster and teacher..

I’m here at Clifton, grinding at the mill
My feet for thrice nine barren years have trod;
But there are rocks and waves at Scarlett still,
And gorse runs riot in Glen Chass—thank God!

Alert, I seek exactitude of rule,
I step, and square my shoulders with the squad;
But there are blaeberries on old Barrule,
And Langness has its heather still—thank God!

There is no silence here : the truculent quack
Insists with acrid shriek my ears to prod,
And, if I stop them, fumes ; but there’s no lack
Of silence still on Carraghyn—thank God!

Pragmatic fibs surround my soul, and bate it
With measured phrase, that asks the assenting nod;
I rise, and say the bitter thing, and hate it—
But Wordsworth’s castle’s still at Peel—thank God!

O broken life ! O wretched bits of being,
Unrhythrnic, patched, the even and the odd!
But Bradda still has lichens worth the seeing,
And thunder in her caves—thank God ! thank God!

Vintage transport museum loses backer

Still on a transport theme comes news that the Department of Tourism and Leisure has pulled out of plans for a vintage transport museum. I can understand why -- tourism is becoming a largely vestigal activity for the Manx economy although I do feel that "roots" tourism has a healthy future. I hope someone can save the Douglas Corporation bus, though. I am very fond of buses and was actually given one while drinking in the Albert pub a couple of years back. Plans to bring it to the US had to be scrapped when I discovered how tall it was, boo hoo.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Ducati is back...

This story is just an excuse for a trip down memory lane. I remember the 1978 TT race that saw Mike Hailwood come back to win after 11 years out of bike racing. There was a truly exciting battle for first between "Mike the Bike" and Phil Reed on a Honda but the Ducati brought the victory home and with it, a 10th World Championship for Hailwood.

Now, Irish road racing champion Ryan Farquhar has been offered the legendary Hailwood Ducati to ride in the Isle of Man TT races in 2009. The Ducati, which was last raced in 1978 when Hailwood won the formula 1 TT, will be updated by a team headed by Hailwood's son David.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Balibo - a new movie with a Manx connection

This is an interesting story about a new Australian film. It features an Ozzie journalist called Roger East who became a newspaper man after leaving the navy. Having trained on local newspapers in Australia, he traveled the world, eventually arriving in the Isle of Man in 1953 where he was taken on as a senior reporter on the Isle of Man Examiner. We was later murdered in East Timor in 1975 while investigating the murders of five fellow reporters by Indonesian armed forces.
Actor Anthony LaPaglia, best known for his role as FBI agent Jack Malone on the TV series Without a Trace, stars in Balibo as Roger East. There's more on the story here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Guan Xing - apparently a good photographer

To celebrate Chinese New Year, which takes place on Monday 26th January, the Arts Council is exhibiting photographs by Guan Xing at the Villa Marina. Mr Guan Xing started taking photographs in 1994. He particularly enjoys photographing everyday city scenes and stage performances. During 1997, 1998 and 1999 he was nominated ‘Best Photographer of the Year’ by ‘China Photographer’. The photographs being exhibited were taken between 2004 and 2007 on the streets in Guangzhou (in Southern China) and in Changchun (in Northeast China). The pictures are records of moments in life. The Isle of Man’s Honorary Representative in China, Richard Hewitt, said:
‘In the past two years, Tynwald Day Celebrations in China have showcased the work of local artists from Guangzhou in a way that linked with the Isle of Man. A dance based on the 3-Legs theme was commissioned and these photographs were displayed as they were destined to be shown on the Isle of Man at Chinese New Year.’

I'd like to share some of his work but the press release link www.iomarts.com has no information, no photos, and no mention of this event!!! Ooops.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Great news for travelers through Dublin

Headed for the IoM via Dublin? Aer Aran has signed a code sharing agreement with the Abu Dhabi airline, Eithad. This means that baggage can now pass through the international system from airport to airport without having to be claimed and rechecked in Dublin. As my children have missed two flights out of Dublin and been stranded there for eight hours each time because they had to reclaim their bags on a tight turnaround, I can only say this doesn't come a moment too soon.

No cigs!

Living on an island has all sorts of supply problems associated with it -- just think, everything but locally grown produce has to be imported. And even if you hate them, cigarettes are a staple for some folk. In a recent snafu, the cig supply was disrupted and locals were said to be, well, fuming. But that's OK, they are fixing the problem by having the beer suppliers take over distribution.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

King Olaf -- a dwarf?

Sounds more like Lord of Rings than the Lord of Man but in a new book by Charlie Connolly, he introduces the reader to Olaf the Dwarf, king of the Isle of Man (c1150), who is known for his “pious heart and perky libido". The book is entitled: And Did Those Feet: Walking Through 2,000 Years of British and Irish History By Charlie Connelly Little, Brown 308pp, £12.99. There's a great review on the Irish Times site.

According to Wikipedia [which isn't always right] Olaf 1 Godredsson was King of Man from 1104 to 1153 and his nickname was Morsel. Here's what else it says. I am hoping that Dr. Chris Snyder may read this and comment as it's his area of expertise.

Olav I was King of Mann and the Isles and was born around 1080 and died 29 June 1153. His father was King Godred Crovan. He succeeded, either together or after, his one or two brothers. Lagman who held the throne at between 1103-04 apparently was his (eldest) brother. Norway's Kings Magnus Barefoot and Sigurd Jorsalafare annexed the kingdom and caused disruption in successions. For forty years Olaf ruled them uncontested. The Kingdom of Mann and the Isles encompassed the Isle of Man and the Hebrides, extending from the Calf of Man to the Butt of Lewis. Olaf adopted the Latin style Rex Manniae et Insularum in his charters, a translation of the Gaelic title ri Innse Gall (literally 'king of the foreigners' isles'), which had been in use since the late 10th century.

The islands which were under his rule were called the Sullr-eyjar (Sudreys or the south isles, in contradistinction to the Norsr-eyjar, or the "north isles," i.e. the Orkneys and Shetlands, and they consisted of the Hebrides, and of all the smaller western islands of Scotland, with Mann. Olaf I exercised considerable power, and according to the Chronicles of Mann, maintained such close alliance with the kings of Ireland and Scotland that no one ventured to disturb the Isles during his time (1104 - 1153).

In the 1130s the Church sent a small mission to establish the first bishopric on the Isle of Man, and appointed Wimund as the first bishop. He soon after gave up his role as fisher-of-men, and became the hunter-of-men, embarking with a band of followers on a career of murder and looting throughout Scotland and the surrounding islands. During the whole of the Scandinavian period the isles remained nominally under the suzerainty of the kings of Norway, but the Norwegians only occasionally asserted it with any vigour. Magnus Barfod about 1100 conquered the isles. Olaf's first wife was Aufrica of Galloway, who bore herself and him a son and successor, Godred Olafsson. His second wife was Ingeborg Haakonsdottir, daughter of Haakon, Earl of the Orkneys. This marriage produced at least daughter Ragnhild, who married Somerled, King of Kintyre and the Isles. Reginald, Lagmann and Harald are mentioned as his other sons. After half a century of reign, Olaf I was killed.

HAT TIP: Dr. Ken Milne

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Manx Links with Washington on Inauguration Day

Six influential Manx-Americans are depicted in this issue of 2006 Manx stamps (I have a couple of sets if anyone is really interested) – some were household names – yet few people know that their roots lie in our tiny island.
Joseph Gurney Cannon
Ever walked past the Cannon House Office Building? That’s a memorial to Joseph Gurney Cannon, whose father emigrated around 1800. Joseph ‘Czar’ Cannon from Illinois was the most powerful House Speaker ever. He was such big news that on the day he retired in 1922, the first issue of Time magazine featured him on its front cover. And his influence reaches down through the years. Ever since he commanded it in 1904, bean soup has been on the menu in the House of Representatives Restaurant.
Mary Clemmer
The influential 19th century journalist, women’s rights supporter and author Mary Clemmer was born in Utica, New York. Her mother had emigrated from Peel. Mary made her own money through writing and lived on Capitol Hill where she was regularly sought out by politicians for her advice. It is widely believed that she coined the expression ‘First Lady’. This relates to an article she wrote after President Rutherford Hayes’ inauguration in 1877 when she described his wife as ‘the first lady of the land’.
Letitia Christian Tyler
Virginia-born Letitia Christian Tyler, wife of the 10th US president John Tyler, became First Lady in 1841 and could trace her ancestry back to the influential Christian family of Baldromma, Isle of Man. Letitia has the dubious honor of being the first President’s wife to die in the White House.
Senator Matthew Stanley Quay
Tracing his Manx roots through his father’s side, Matthew Stanley “Boss” Quay came from Pennsylvania where he dominated the politics of that state for more than twenty years. In a rollercoaster life he was awarded one of the first Congressional Medals of Honor for his bravery at the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg, was Senator for Pennsylvania, became mired in scandal, was refused admission to the Senate, and was subsequently re-elected. Quay was credited with being the “kingmaker” responsible for the election of President Benjamin Harrison. Harrison, however, always credited his success to God. When he explained this to Quay at the end of his first term. Boss retorted, “Then let God re-elect you!”
Colonel Henry Watterson
Henry ‘Marse’ Watterson was a Florida-based newspaper owner credited with dissuading President Theodore Roosevelt from seeking a third term in office and with shaping Democratic party policy for more than two generations. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1918 for his editorials supporting US entry into World War I.
Ewan Clague
Ewan Clague was born in Washington state of Manx parents. He was Commissioner of Labor Statistics for the Department of Labor from 1946 to 1965 and led a team of statisticians responsible for America’s Marshall Plan, the economic and industrial aid program that played a major part in the economic recovery of Western Europe following the Second World War.

Monday, January 19, 2009

And you think our weather is bad

The island is being lashed by 84 knot winds (85mph), there are trees down all over and there's even flooding. Everyone is wet, freezing and miserable -- well, except for these hardy souls (eejits) windsurfing in Carrick Bay.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cash from music?

On the subject of downloads (see yesterday's post), the IoM is apparently setting out to make music its number two revenue generator in a new proposal for a blanket music licensing scheme in association with ISP (internet service providers) and telecoms companies. The details -- or maybe rumours -- are on the Music Ally blog.

In addition, IoM residents will be able to download any amount of music in a deal with the record industry.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

At Mary Kelly's request

Manx ringtones, podcasts and screensavers for your cellphones (or mobile phones as they are called over there) are available from the Manx Telecom website, including the MNA in orchestral, choral or rock version; Manx lessons and a selection of cool carvels from Caarjyn Cooidjagh including Bee dty Host, my Lhiannoo Veen or The Lullaby of the Virgin Mary which I only mention because H. P. Kelly wrote the Manx words to this beautiful tune. Who is H. P. Kelly? I hear you ask. Well, he was a great custodian of all things Manx and High Baliff of the IoM until his untimely death from TB in 1938 -- but more important to me is the fact that he was my father's father. He is also responsible for us being able to fly the Manx flag instead of the Union flag through the great pressure he applied to the British Home Office at a time when they were very jingoistic.

UPDATE: We can't get the ringtone for the MNA -- does anyone know how?

From the BBC: Rally Isle of Man was named '2008 Rally of the Year' at the British Rally Championship Awards in Birmingham on Saturday. Championship Manager Mark Taylor was full of praise for the event. "The Isle of Man rally was a very popular choice. In fact they beat their nearest rival by a considerable margin", said Taylor. It's a true reflection of their team's dedication to organising a delivering a first-class event."

The Manx event is the first to win the accolade twice, having previously picked up the award in 2005.

Friday, January 16, 2009

We had a plane scare too...

FROM THE AVIATION HERALD: Incident: VLM F50 (like the one above) at Isle of Man on Jan 15th 2009, veered off runway
A VLM Fokker 50, registration OO-VLF performing flight VG-662 from London City,EN to Isle of Man (UK) with 20 passengers and 4 crew, was landing at Isle of Man's Ronaldsway Airport in high winds, when a gust caught the airplane and caused it to veer off the runway. The airplane came to a stop with the left main and nose gear on soft ground. No injuries occured, the airplane suffered no damage. Passengers disembarked normally onto the runway.

The airport's runway had to be closed until the airplane could be towed off the runway.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Great news for amateur genealogists. The UK 1911 census records have been put online here. The website says that the records for the Channel Islands and ISLE OF MAN are coming soon. Very soon, I hope. But if, like me you have some non-Manx yet British blood it might be interesting to see where your ancestors were nearly 100 years ago on a Spring night in April. (I am interested in the suffragette movement issue as I suspect it wa
sn't an issue in the IOM as women could vote by then.)

The 1911 census
The 1911 census for England and Wales was taken on the night of Sunday 2 April, 1911. The count included all individual households, plus institutions such as prisons, workhouses, naval vessels and merchant vessels, and it also attempted to make an approximate count of the homeless.

The 1911 census recorded the following information:

  • Where an individual lived
  • Their age at the time of the census
  • Who (what relatives) they were living with
  • Their place of birth
  • Occupation
Also, depending on an individual’s circumstances, additional information could include:
  • Who their guests were on the night of the census
  • The number of servants they had (if any)
  • Whether they were an employee or employer
  • Details of nationality
  • Duration of current marriage
In response to government concerns the 1911 census also asked additional, more specific questions to each household, about fertility in marriage and occupational data. Many of the questions are ansered in your ancestor's own hand.

The 1911 census and the suffragettes
Frustrated with the government’s refusal to grant women the vote, a large number of women boycotted the 1911 census by refusing to be counted. There were two forms of protest. In the first, the women (or their husband) refused to fill in the form, often recording their protest to the enumerator. In the second, women evaded the census by staying away from their home for the whole night. In both cases, any details relating to individual women in the households will be missing from the census. For the family historian the active refusal to fill in the form (accompanied by a protest statement) at least registers the presence of a woman/women in the household, whereas the women who evaded the count are simply untraceable via the census.

The exact number of women who boycotted the census is not known, though some people have estimated that it may be as many as several thousand.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

More on the MNA

Did you see the Manx National Anthem post earlier this week got a response all the way from Australia!!!!

And from Dollin Kelly in the Isle of Man:

Your blog readers might find this interesting. These are notes I wrote some years ago when closing a local concert:

"Do you ever wonder why the Manx National Anthem is printed on the back of the Guild (Manx Music Festival) programme each year. I daresay most of the Guild committee have no idea how or why the tradition came about. BUT if it were not for the Guild we wouldn't have a Manx National Anthem. I'll explain.
There have been various songs put forward for consideration as the Manx National Anthem. The one we shall all sing tonight, with the air adapted from the traditional Manx tune Mylecharaine and the words by W. H. Gill, has now become established as the anthem of the Manx people. However, a commentator in a Manx paper of 1908, when opinion was still divided as to which piece should be chosen for the anthem, suggested that Ellan Vannin, written more than 50 years before by an English woman in 1854, was certainly a fine enough song to be considered, and that a new song with words by 'Cushag', and the traditional Manx air of Illiam Dhone harmonized by Miss M. L. Wood should also be considered.
With reference to Gill's anthem the writer said, "It may be doubted whether this 'national anthem' has met with the success hoped for, for there are not lacking people who declare that the music has gained nothing by the alteration [from the minor to the major key], and that the words are too futile even for comparison with those of the poem (?) which does duty in England [God Save the King]."
Gill's anthem had been published that year in the programme of the Manx Music Festival, and the writer suggested that, in fairness, Cushing’s anthem should also appear in the programme to give the public a chance of deciding. However, it seems that the festival committee chose to continue to print Gill's anthem each year, and it has consequently, by tacit agreement with the Manx public, become the Manx National Anthem."

Note: We are trying to find the words that "almost" became the MNA.

More on the Pepperpot

Hello, Washington

You’ll have seen the pictures on iomonline and read the remarks regarding PSM’s talking-point of the day. Here’s a picture taken today. We had horrendous winds for about 48 hours and, as the sea pictures from around the Island show, mountainous seas. Looking at what is left of the lighthouse it’s not surprizing that it went overboard. There are several fracture lines and all of them flawed by with deeply encrusted cracks. I think a wheel tapper should now be employed to sound the other similar cast-iron structures on the Island’s piers. The lighthouse in the foreground is on the Inner Harbour -- it's the one on the Outer Breakwater that was swept away.

This building was secondhand when placed in PSM in 1882 (when Prince Alfred performed the opening ceremony). It first stood at the end of the Port Erin Breakwater before the sea demolished that structure. (As in the black and white photo)

Hat Tip: Dollin Kelly

Monday, January 12, 2009

This is terrible...

...the pepperpot lighthouse at the end of Port St. Mary breakwater has been washed away in a storm! Here are the before and after pictures from Alfred Pier.

The Manx National Anthem

After a rousing version of the Manx National Anthem at the Washington Manx's 12th Night Party on Saturday, Jim Kneale, NAMA's webmaster has put some music on our website, including the MNA. We had a great afternoon, starting off with a Viking in full regalia, sweeping out the Old Year and bringing bread, coal and money to usher in food, warmth and prosperity for 2009. We had a big old potluck supper with Manx and celtic music played by Na Maraghan who accompanied singer Kelly Crenshaw. and we played, "Hunt the Cat's tail" and "Pass the Parcel" -- Sunday School and parlor games from the past. It was great fun and we can boast around 15 under-20s who turned up and actually ENJOYED themselves and didn't roll their eyes once. Click here for the NAMA site and here for the Manx National Songbook.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Major refurbishment at the Nunnery gets under way

THE first stage in a major refurbishment of buildings at the Nunnery near Douglas has started.
The Isle of Man Business School which is now a credited institution able to offer courses from Liverpool John Moore University, will expand into new spaces created in the old chapel cottages and stable blocks as part of a major refurbishment.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Hospice eBay sales

Click on the logo to go to the eBay shop for the Isle of Man's hospice. This is a much loved local charity that does a tough thing with much grace and we all love them. They have a string of thrift shops (much of my furniture and cookware came from them) where you can find anything and now they have taken their special items online. There are quite a few neat Manx items for low money. Check it out.

You are welcome to attend

The Greater Washington Area Manx Society is holding its 12th Night Party on Saturday from 2-5pm at the United Church of Christ, 4347 Arlington Boulevard, Arlington, VA. All Manxies are welcome. $10 per adult and $5 Children 5-16. Under-5s are free. Its a potluck, with games, live music and lots of fun.

Manx Government buys pub

Well, this is an interesting sign of the times. The Manx Government has bought a pub in Douglas (and a proper pub it is too.) The Department of Local Government and the Environment has purchased the Bowling Green Hotel in Derby Road. The DLGE spokesman confirmed government paid £800,000 for the site which he said was a 'strategic land acquisition'. No decision has been made about the future use of the site.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hard times bite on Strand Street

The pinch is being felt on the Island as more stores succumb to the hard economic times. Strand Street, the main shopping "drag", is suffering from the collapse of the big UK high street names such as Woolworth's and more and more "To Let" signs are being hoisted. High rents are blamed as well as the general economic malaise but it must also be recognized that the internet is a very appealing option to people on the island. It will be interesting to see if the IoM Government offers any "bail-out" loans or incentives.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Zoe Gillings wins Team GB snowsport athlete award

From iomtoday: ZOE Gillings has won the British Olympic Association's Athlete of the Year (Snowsport) award for the second year in succession. The Ronague woman enjoyed an incredible return to world class form following her career threatening injury in 2005, when she was initially told that she would never snowboard again. Currently ranked sixth in the world, she has her her sights firmly set on winning the gold medal for snowboardcross in the 2010 Winter Olympics and is already firmly back in training after the festive break. The BOA award helps confirm that Zoe is Britain's best hope for a snowsport medal at next year's Games. (IN VANCOUVER!!!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Manx aerospace business looking good for '09

I wasn't really aware of how much the island's aerospace business had developed while I wasn't paying attention but it's huge. There was a meeting in the IoM this week and apparently 2009 is looking good for this industry sector. Here's some information from the "cluster's" website: www.aerospace.co.im I'm guessing that the photo is from what we all call Martin Bakers but is really the Ronaldsway Aircraft Co.

The Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster (IOMAC) is a concept lead by the IOM Department of Trade & Industry and the Chamber of Commerce. The committee is complemented with 4 of the Islands aerospace and high tech manufacturers:

• GE Aviation

• Swagelok Ltd

• Ronaldsway Aircraft Company Ltd

• Manx Engineers

This group are the driving force behind the IOMAC cluster concept which unites the 16 aerospace manufacturers/service providers on the island, a number of which are prime suppliers to the major OEM’s, to create real benefits to the businesses, the infrastructure and the image of island based aero manufacturing.

The Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster offers cost effective joined up solutions for Aerospace Manufacture from a central location in the British Isles complete with mature and efficient logistics links to the UK, Europe, USA and Asia. The IOMAC boasts a long heritage of high quality “one stop shop” service providers with over 50 years experience in design and manufactured solutions.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Visit to California and Washington, D.C. deemed success

A recent visit by one of the Treasury ministers and a civil service chief to visit California and Washington on behalf of the Island's space and finance industries is reported as a good step forward in firming up business relations between the island the the US. This comes at the same time as the island is bracing itself to see if the famously anti-offshore financial center President-Elect Obama will bite or bark at the Isle of Man. Check the article and audio clip on the Manx radio site for more details. Alex Downie, MLC (right) and Tim Craine visited Google & NASA in California prior to hosting a dinner in the Capitol Building in D.C. The visit was organized in conjunction with the Island's Honorary Representative for Space Affairs, Christopher Stott. The island is waiting with baited breath for final details of the NASA launch to the ISS later this year in which Chris's wife, Nicole, a NASA astronaut, will go to the space station for a long mission there.

More good news...

Following on the heels of the news that house prices in the Isle of Man actually WENT UP this year, comes the announcement that Manx beer will be cheaper forthwith. Manx-brewed Okell's bitter and mild now cost about 50p less. The move means the average cost of a pint of Okell's is £2 and standard lagers, Guinness and cider are £2.25.

Ella Olesen Scholarship winner announced

FORMER St Ninian’s High School student Clare Christian is the winner of this year’s Ella Olesen Scholarship. Clare, 21, will follow a long line of local students in spending nine months among the 12,000 students at Idaho University from this summer.

The scholarship is named after the late Miss Ella Olesen, a former registrar of the university who died in 1985. Her Manx ancestry – her mother Margaret Teare was born in Ballaugh and emigrated to America in 1890 – led her to gift the scholarship in 1971. It is awarded annually to a female graduate who has been supported through her studies by the Department of Education. Forming the interview panel for this year’s scholarship were Education Minister Anne Craine MHK and Head of Legal and Administrative Services John Gill.

Clare, who lives in Auburn Road, Onchan, left St Ninian’s with four A-levels and 11 GCSEs. She was a school prefect and an active charity fund-raiser and she won a number of endeavour and achievement awards. She is due to graduate this summer from Keele University with a BA Hons in history with law. She is a member of her university’s athletic union, swimming club, law society and rock club. She is an avid reader and is keen on arts and crafts. As a life member of the Friends of Manx National Heritage, she has a keen interest in Manx history and culture that she is incorporating into her studies.

She said: ‘I was both surprised and delighted to be offered the Ella Olesen scholarship and the prospect of being able to follow a long line of Manx students who have studied at the University of Idaho is very exciting. To be able to learn a little bit about the culture of other international students and to share a little knowledge of our Island’s beauty, heritage and culture, of which I am very proud, is a fantastic opportunity which I am really looking forward to.’

Clare can expect a warm welcome from two former neighbours of Miss Olesen, who will help her settle into her new home. Phyllis and Duane LeTourneau – known as Granny and Grandpa Idaho – traditionally meet new scholars at the airport and provide them with a home away from home. Clare will be their 43rd guest from the Island (at its inception the scholarship benefited two students). After staying with Phyllis and Duane for a few days, Clare will move into university accommodation. The Global Village accommodation has been chosen by scholars for the past four years as it is newly built and provides an excellent opportunity to live alongside both international and American students.

Current scholarship holder Kirsty Pendlebury, 23, of Port St Mary, began studying in Idaho last August and will be there until May -- hopefully continuing her online blog which we highlight on this site. Back in the Island for the Christmas and New Year break, Kirsty said: ‘I can’t begin to express my thanks to the Isle of Man Government for giving me this opportunity. I have made some lifelong friends in Idaho as well as experiencing some American traditions and cultures.
‘I’d like to congratulate Clare on behalf of all previous Ella Olesen scholars and tell her to make the most of every second of it. The experience has given all of us memories to cherish for life. I’d like to thank everyone at home for their support while I’ve been in Idaho and, most importantly, thank Duane and Phyllis LeTourneau, who have made me feel like part of their family.’


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Kayaking Manx style

Another awesome photo from the IOM Kayaking blog. This time there's a competition going to set new records for circumnavigating the Calf of Man. 53 minutes and 20 seconds is the current time to beat. Looks cold, doesn't it?

Friday, January 2, 2009

And she drank tea...

Bethany Clague visited 91 pubs on a gruelling 110-mile trek around the Island. She began her walk on Boxing Day and ended on Monday, 40 hours later. She believes she's raised more than £1,500 for homeless shelters.

Illiam Dhoon

In 1663, Illiam Dhone - or William Christian - was stirred by the people of Man to stop the Island being given back to the English crown. Nowadays he's the nearest thing we have to a martyr and today we commemorate his execution at Hango Hill in Castletown (followed by a pint down the Viking).