Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Manx teach Americans about sustainable fishing

A team from the Isle of Man has been teaching American fishermen about sustainable fishing.
Billy Caley of W & K Caley and Sons Seafoods in Peel and the government’s fisheries director Andy Read spent 10 days in the American state of Maine at the invitation of their fisheries directorate.
Mr Caley said their brief was to share the island’s expertise on sustainable fishing by giving formal lectures and talking to fishermen.
‘We explained the progress we had made in the Isle of Man over the past 30 years,’ he said.
‘We had a lot to tell them because they are now going through the problems we did 30 years ago and their jobs are in jeopardy. So they wanted to know how we got back on track.’
Mr Read added they had delivered four lectures in several different parts of Maine, met many members of the industry from officials to fishermen and made some good contacts.
‘I gave some talks on the scientific side and Billy answered questions about processing,’ he said.
He added the trip had been a great opportunity to promote the Isle of Man in an area where fishing is a huge industry with an annual lobster catch of more than 40,000 tonnes across Maine, compared with 30 tonnes in the Isle of Man.
Their most prolific fishermen catch about 2,000kg of lobsters in a single day, he added.
‘It was a chance to fly the flag for the Isle of Man,’ he said.
‘There was a charity auction one night and we supplied a hamper of Manx produce.’
Because the plan was to meet as many of the fishermen as possible, the weekend selected for the trip was, he said, statistically the one with the worst weather, when fewest boats were likely to be out at sea.
And it certainly lived up to expectations.
‘At times the temperature was down to minus 20,’ he said. ‘It certainly was not a jolly, but we did have a warm welcome.
‘The minister authorised the trip on the basis that we learned as much as possible to feed back over here.’
The trip was half funded by the Maine state government and half by the state’s fishermen’s forum.
Mr Read added they were sending some of the island’s scallop samples to America with a view to the export potential.
Now the fishermen of Maine are hoping to arrange for eight representatives to make a reciprocal visit to the Isle of Man, ideally this year before the scallop season ends in November.
Mr Read said the trip had been excellent publicity for the Isle of Man fishing industry.
‘I just wish it could have taken place in July,’ he added.
In January, Manx queenies were voted the best at the Sustainable Seafood Awards 2011. The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture’s fisheries directorate was awarded first place at the UK finals following a presentation at Billingsgate Seafood School, in London.
Billy Caley, who is also director of Isle of Man Seafoods and a member of the Isle of Man Scallop Processors Association, said then: ‘This is further recognition of how far the Isle of Man seafood industry has matured. As processors we have moved beyond accepting minimum landing size products and seek to land only the most mature queenies.
‘By doing this we ensure the younger stock remains on the seabed, repopulating our waters for future years, and consumers receive only the best quality queenies.’
Manx queenies fought off competition from stone bass (Direct Seafoods); sardines entered (Marine Conservation Society); spider crab (Welsh Fisheries Department and South Wales Fisherman’s Association); Pacific cod (Alaskan Seafood) and yellow tail kingfish (Clean Seas).

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    King Dave makes IOM papers

    THE self-appointed King of Mann has offered to come to the aid of his ‘cousin’ Prince Charles – by offering him a job in his tyre company!
    King David made the offer in the wake of the latest WikiLeaks’ revelations which appear to suggest that officials have held secret talks about dumping the Royal Family as the head of the Commonwealth.
    Secret US cables indicate Prince Charles will not automatically assume the title when the Queen dies.
    Commonwealth secretariat director of political affairs Amitav Banerji secretly told the US that ‘succession’ would have to be addressed by leaders of the Commonwealth nations.
    Following the WikiLeaks’ expose, King David Howe, who manages a tyre store in the States, contacted Clarence House to offer Prince Charles a job.
    He told the Manx Independent: ‘In the wake of the latest WikiLeaks’ reveal, King Dave has offered his cousin Prince Charles a job selling tires [sic].
    ‘It’s just too close to the holidays to let a relative go without work. The job is here if he wants it.’
    Maryland businessman David Drew Howe crowned himself ‘undisputed’ King David of the Isle of Man in 2007 after his notice placed in the London Gazette went unchallenged.
    Mr Howe, who also goes under the names of Drew Howe and David Howe-Stanley, claims to be cousin to the Queen and to be a direct descendant of the Stanley family, who abandoned the use of the term ‘King’ 500 years ago in favour of the title ‘Lord of Mann’.
    His website includes an introduction by His Grace Archbishop Council Nedd II who states: ‘Imagine what it must be like as an average American, living with your young family in an average American town, and one day get a call from someone you’ve never met, calling you from England and informing you that you are a King. It’s the stuff of movies.
    ‘Only in the real-life version, the King ends up being auto service center manager whose daily activities are divided between making sure all his employees show up to work on time with meeting the needs of his customers – most having no idea that the person who just sold them their new set of radials is also a Royal Prince.
    ‘This is the life of my friend David Howe, or as he is known by his official style and title, His Royal Highness Prince David of Mann.’

    Just for the record, here's the official Manx Government line:

    The Ministry of Justice, the UK Government Department with responsible for hereditary titles, has researched the issue and concluded that Rights granted to Sir John Stanley or anyone else before or after the reign of Henry IV in relation to the Lordship of Man and which had passed down eventually to rest with the Dukes of Athol, have been fully and inalienably acquired by the Crown.  Any rights which Mr Howe states to have been vested in his ancestors and to have passed down to him, have been extinguished and rest with Her Majesty The Queen."

    So, as far as the Isle of Man Government is concerned, the Isle of Man does not, and has never, recognised any other than Queen Elizabeth II, Lord of Man, as the Island’s legitimate Head of State. 

      Peter Kennaugh wins World Championship Bronze Medal

      Peter Kennaugh won a bronze medal at the UCI Track World Championships at Apeldoorn in Holland on Wednesday evening as part of the GB team pursuit squad.
      Part of a young British squad, hampered by the illness of Ed Clancy that forced him to sit up three laps from the end of their qualifying ride, they qualified only third fastest and faced Commonwealth Games silver medallists New Zealand in the ride-off for bronze.
      The team of Clancy, Kennaugh, Steven Burke and Andrew Tennant rode 4min 02.764sec, more than two seconds slower than pre-event favourites Australia who qualified fastest in 4m 00.168s.
      Russia qualified second quickest but were crushed by the Aussies in the final - the latter team winning by almost five seconds in 3m 57.832s.
      For the bronze medal showdown with the Kiwis, Britain drafted in Welsh teenager Sam Harrison to replace Clancy. The GB quartet finished together in an almost identical time to the qualifying round, beating the New Zealand team with some ease.
      The Apeldoorn track was said to be more than three seconds slower than Manchester and the other quicker tracks in the world, but the improved performance of the Australians in the past year is another wake-up call to the Brits in the build-up to the London Olympics.
      Olympic Academy rider and fellow Manx Sport Aid recipient Mark Christian was third quickest in the Tour of Normandy prologue around the town of Mondeville on Monday afternoon. IOM Today
      In his first race of the year, Christian was two seconds slower than Swede Tobias Ludvigsson, who was in turn half-a-second quicker than Mark’s GB team-mate Luke Rowe over the 4.8km course.
      Fastest to the intermediate checkpoint, Christian wore the king of the mountains jersey in the first road stage between Colombelles and Forges-les-Eaux on Tuesday, finishing near the front of the bunch in a strong 18th place, 11 seconds behind winner Thomas Vedel Kvist of Denmark.
      The young Manxman was 51st in Wednesday’s third stage between Forges Les Eaux and Grand Couronne, within the second group of 50 riders, and was 40th on general classification going into Thursday’s short 72km hop to Elbeuf Sur Seine.
      The seven-day Tour of Normandy has a reputation for tough racing and is seen as a stepping stone for future stars.

      Tuesday, March 22, 2011

      Trad Music Workshops Weekend

      The busy Manx Heritage Foundation’s Manx Music Development Team held a very successful weekend of workshops at the Philip Christian Centre in Peel recently, ending with a well attended concert featuring both local and visiting musicians.   Tutors for the free workshops were renowned Scottish multi-instrumentalists Anna Massie and Mairearad Green who arrived on the Island with an impressive CV, both as a duo and performing with a number of well known artists such The Poozies, Blazin’ Fiddles, Karen Matheson, Box Club, Eddi Reader, Karine Polwart and Scotland’s Celtic Big Band The Unusual Suspects.

      Although specifically aimed at adults with the opportunity to broaden their skills with the fiddle, bagpipes, mandolin, piano accordion and guitar, a Bree youth music session was also slotted into the schedule.

      A concert held at the same venue to round off the busy weekend introduced new Manx band ‘Sannish’ who presented a fresh and lively sound with their own musical twist on local traditional tunes and songs.

      On their first visit to the Island the Scottish duo played an assortment of strathspeys, reels, jigs, hornpipes and Swedish polskas with a natural passion. Their music was enriched by an unashamed enjoyment of playing for a delighted audience who encouraged them to play on into the evening.

      Both Mairearad and Anna also enjoy a wicked sense of humour and continuously provided light hearted banter in their lengthy programme which included the guitar, fiddle, banjo and the more mellow sound of the border pipes.

      Due to their popularity it is hoped they will make a return visit to the Island in the not too distant future.

      Valerie Caine © March 2011 (inc photos)

      Monday, March 21, 2011

      NAMA interviewed on Manx Radio

      This link will only work for a week so listen to Andrew Ravenscroft on the subject of the Manx in America now.

      Friday, March 18, 2011

      Droghad ny Seihil

      Christopher Lewin is currently studying Celtic and Linguistics at Edinburgh University whilst learning Scottish Gaelic, but his keen interest in the Manx language has brought him some early success within the realm of creative writing here on the Isle of Man, along with praise and encouragement to continue writing other publications.

      Having previously written a collection of short stories in Manx Gaelic, ‘Jough-laanee Aegid as Skeealyn Elley’ (The Elixir of Youth and other Stories) Christopher took on the challenge of writing a full length novel. 'Droghad ny Seihill’ (The Bridge of the Worlds) is a fantasy novel about a young Manx girl who discovers that she has unusual powers which allow her to travel to a parallel universe. Although permitting  her to escape from her problems in this world, things start to become more sinister, people vanish and an ancient evil is awoken from its slumber.

      Fantasy is a genre that interests Christopher because you are not limited to the real world, although the original concept of ‘Droghad ny Seihill’ emerged from a number of ideas that had been fermenting for some time in the back of his mind. He’s also keen to weave mythological characters and themes into his story, with Manannan supping a pint at a Douglas hostelry and reminiscing about past glories.

      Christopher began writing ‘Droghad ny Seihill’ two or three years ago, but was obliged to put the project on hold whilst he tackled exams. He is excited at long last to see the story in print which adds to the choice of literature available to a growing number of Manx speakers. 

      He commented, “Quite simply people want things to read. There are more and more people learning Manx and after all their hard work they want to be able to read a wide range of material in the language. Not so long ago there was hardly anything to read in Manx, apart from the Bible, and though the situation is changing with several new, modern books of various types appearing in recent years there is still scope for more. Having said that, the older material is still valuable and as well as new material it is important that more of the 18th and 19th century literature, much of which is full of good idiom and vocabulary, is made accessible to students of Manx”.

      Christopher is delighted to be contributing to the revival of the Manx language and hopes that his most recent publication will entertain readers and encourage others to learn and write in the language. Although the availability of written Manx has improved enormously during recent years Christopher believes there’s always room for additional literature and hopes to write more books himself in both Manx and English in the future.

      ‘Droghad ny Seihill’ was officially launched after the annual ‘Ned Maddrell Memorial Lecture’ where a large number of Manx speakers listened to Christopher as he read an extract from his new book.

      Priced at £8 ‘Droghad ny Seihill’ is available from the Lexicon Bookshop in Douglas, St. Paul’s Bookshop in Ramsey and The Bridge Bookshop in Port Erin, or directly from Dr. Brian Stowell by phoning 011 441 624 623821.

      (Courtesy of Manx Tails) Valerie Caine © March 2011

      A Sense of Belonging

      Hector Emanuelli recently made a nostalgic return visit to the Isle of Man at the age of 90 on completion of his autobiography ‘A Sense of Belonging’, but on this occasion he was a free man.

      He compares his life to that of a knickerbocker glory, not inappropriate for a man who spent many years manufacturing and selling ice cream, but his first visit to the Island included an enforced stay at the Peveril Internment Camp during World War II brought vividly to life in this new book.

      Born in the Rhondda, South Wales, of Italian immigrants Hector also lived in England and holidayed in Italy, but as the title suggests he always felt like an outsider.

      Detained without trial and shunted from one camp to another the story behind Hector’s arrest is an incredible tale itself. Holidaying in Italy to improve his grasp of the language and discover more about his cultural heritage he unwittingly landed in a pseudo-military training camp run according to fascist principles. Eventually returning to the UK he was seen as a threat to national security and subsequently arrested.

      Herded in with others bearing the fascist label he recalls the journey on the ‘Lady of Mann’ and the hostility of the waiting crowd in Douglas. Hector’s consequent stay in Peel was tempered by visits from his mother and the delivery of welcome parcels.

      Originally christened Ettorino his book contains a number of evocative family photos and reproductions of his own artwork, including a selection from his time spent at the Peveril Camp in Peel.

      Using his time to good advantage Hector admits that the Peveril Camp was quite civilised and brought him many educational opportunities, but also writes of the escape attempts. Look out too for the description of an unusual football match between the Metropolitan Police and the Italian internees.

       Hector was later removed to Brixton Prison before his eventual release.

      The novelist Margaret Drabble commented on the book, "What a remarkable story, and very well told – the interweaving of Italian memories and life in England and Wales is so vivid and moving. The Isle of Man episode is particularly interesting..."

      A copy of the book is available for reference only at the Ward Library in Peel, or alternatively copies can be purchased online through Amazon.

      (Courtesy of Manx Tails)

      Valerie Caine, © March 2011

      Thursday, March 17, 2011

      Eubonia!!! That's where we're from. We're Eubonics!

      The Firbolgs are reckoned amongst the first adventurers who colonised Ireland. Nennius, in his " History of the Britons," expressly declares that from Ireland they spread themselves to Man and other islands. Some writers have hesitated to refer his words to the Isle of Man, but the Latin text removes all doubt, for the phrase Eubonia Insula admits of only one interpretation, viz., " The Isle of Man." Ptolemy the Geographer, who wrote in the second century, places the Isle of Man among the Irish islands. A number of years later (A.D. 254) the migration of a colony of Irish Cruithneans from Ulster to Man is registered by Tighernach. Many of this tribe, however, chose to remain in Ireland and pay tribute to the King of Ulster, and we find them still there when St. Patrick came to our island. They continued to enjoy their own peculiar laws and customs, and were looked upon by the settlers in Man and Wales as still forming part of their common family.
      St. Patrick's Island, Peel - showing Oratory, Cathedral, and Pillar Tower
      St. Patrick's Island, Peel - showing Oratory, Cathedral, and Pillar Tower
      This being the actual condition of things, we can readily imagine how St. Patrick might have considered his mission incomplete had he left the Isle of Man unvisited. Accordingly we find that, with Ireland, Man shares the glory of having Patrick for its Apostle. In Wilson's History* we are told that the " Isle of Man was converted to the Christian faith by St. Patrick in the year 440." So devoted were the Manx men in after ages to his memory, that the promontory now called Peel, formerly separated from Man, was in the Chronicon Manniae always called Insula Sancti Patritii, or St. Patrick's island.* Manx Soc., vol. xviii., p 106,

      Elvis the guanaco

      HE may not be conventionally good looking, but male guanaco Elvis is certainly attracting attention from visitors at the Wildlife Park.
      Elvis – named after the legendary singer because of his curled lip – has been at the Ballaugh park since his birth in 2000.
      But interest has grown in the llama-like animal so much, a notice went up last week to explain why he looks the way he does.
      Elvis likes to make his presence known among visitors, sometimes following them through the enclosure.
      He was born at the park in March 2000 with a facial paralysis affecting one side of his face.
      The sign explains: ‘Known as Elvis to the keepers, he has a droopy lip and ear and had one eye removed after developing a tumour.
      ‘Rather than having him put down, park keepers decided to allow him to live out his life at the park because he is not suffering as a result of his condition.
      ‘He may follow visitors out of curiosity but we ask that you do not stroke or feed the guanaco, or any of the animals.
      ‘If you have concerns or queries about any animals in the park, please bring them to the attention of staff.’
      Elvis’s mum died in 2002 and his dad died in 2006. And due to his deformity, staff are unwilling to involve him in breeding.
      They may consider replacing him with a breeding pair ‘in due course’.
      Despite this, staff don’t consider the herd animal to be lonely.
      General manager Nick Pinder said: ‘The guanaco is in a multi species enclosure and interacts with the maras, the rheas and the public. He is quite content.’

      From IOM Today

      St. Patrick's our Patron Saint too

      Proof that you don't have to wear green to celebrate St. Paddy's Day. Mim Blower, 2010 recipient of the NAMA Youth Award sports the red and gold of the Manx flag to show the Irish the other side of their saint's heritage. 

      For more about St. Patrick and the IOM, visit here, it's fascinating even though it says St. Paddy is an unofficial patron saint.

      Wednesday, March 16, 2011

      World Manx Association Centenary

      Clicking on the image should open it in a larger format.

      Dear All

      As you are all aware the World Manx Association is celebrating 
      its centenary this year and we look forward to meeting those 
      who are making the journey to the Island to help us mark this 
      special event. Would it be possible for you to forward the 
      names and addresses of those who may be coming in order for us 
      to send details of our Centenary Events and arrange tickets 
      for Tynwald Day (Grandstand) and the  Governor's Garden Party 

      I have attached a leaflet from the IOM Post Office which may 
      be of interest to your members as it offers competition 
      winners a trip to the Island!

      I look forward to hearing from you in the near future,

      Kind regards,

      Carol Gray (Secretary)

      Monday, March 14, 2011

      Port Erin: Wildflower Hotspot of the Isle of Man

      The Isle of Man Flora Group has been working for two years to survey the Island’s wildflowers, with forty volunteers working for hundreds of hours to scour hundreds of square kilometres of the Island. While the survey will last another three years before the final results are published, some preliminary data is giving us a good shape where some of the Island’s best areas for wildflowers are.
      Three areas are well ahead of the rest with Port Erin coming out ahead with 486 species recorded since records began, coming just two ahead of Ramsey, with Sandygate not far behind at 481. 
      Port Erin’s amazing 486 records include Manx rarities such as spring sandwort on the mine deads and narrow-fruited watercress in Athol Park. As well as lots of coastal, saltmarsh, woodland and grassland plants. Garden plants that have gone wild are an interesting feature in Port Erin with species such as the 10’ high giant viper’s bugloss occasionally springing up from buried seed. Ramsey’s mix of suburbs, saltmarsh and sand dunes made it score high and Sandygate contains some of the best wetlands on the Island and contain more records of native plants than any other area. With records still to come in, some of these areas could reach 500 species before the survey finishes. 

      As well as pinpointing wild flower hotspots the flora survey has also discovered plants never before recorded on the Island such as tor-grass that is growing wild in Jurby and rediscovered plants long thought to have been lost.
      Our 2011 surveying season kicks off with a spring social at the Douglas iMuseum on the 29th March. If anyone is interested in becoming a wildflower surveyor, contact Andree Dubbeldam on 434251.

      Photograph:(Isle of Man Cabbage, A plant first discovered in 1660 in Ramsey, where it still grows today)

      The Isle of Man Flora Group is a partnership of individuals from many government and non governmental organisations on the Island. It is self funding and operates independently, with The Manx Wildlife Trust holding its budget and supporting its volunteers.

      The Manx Wildlife Trust is the leading nature conservation charity on the Isle of Man and whilst it is a fully independent, Manx charity it also benefits from its partnership with 46 other Wildlife Trusts throughout the British Isles. 

      Contact:  A Dubbeldam, Wildflowers of Mann Project Manager )11 441 624 801 985.


      Sunday, March 13, 2011

      Manx class today

      Kiarkyl ny Gaelgey meets today. Here's our Facebook link.

      Here's an example of our international exchanges on FB:

      C'red by vie lhiat?

      • Brian Ó Dálaigh By vie lhiam pannag. Jea Jemayrt Innyd, agh cha ren mee pannagyn er-yn-oyr cha row mee aym pene jea. Neem aarlaghey kuse veg jeh pannagyn 'syn 'astyr.
        09 March at 04:19 · 
      • Peddyr Cubberley Grian as çhiass my sailt. Feayr agglagh ayns Mannin jiu as t'eh ceau frass-niaghtee! / Grian 's teas mas thoil leat. Fuar eaglach anns Manainn diugh!
        09 March at 04:58 · 
      • Kiarkyl ny Gaelgey By vie lhiam grian as çhiass myrgeddin! T'eh cur fliaghey ayns shoh jiu as jea ... Dooar oo dty phannagyn, Brian?
        Thursday at 05:04 · 
      • Brian Ó Dálaigh Hooar, as v'ad yindyssagh er blass! Pannagyn marish caashey, unnish freeghit as yskid, as pannagyn marrish fliughaneyn keyagh. MMM, mmm! :)
        Thursday at 08:06 ·