Friday, June 29, 2012

Rev. Devore Craine Smith

Rev. Devore Craine Smith, passed away the evening of Wednesday June 20, 2012 in Santa Rosa, CA with family members by his side. He was 84.

A lifetime of service has drawn to a close.  Born on April 27, 1928 in Streator, Illinois the 2nd of 7 children, he lived the last 42 years in San Diego, CA.  Devore earned a Bachelors in Philosophy from Stanford University, Masters of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a Masters of Education from USC.  He was the founding pastor of Presbyterian Church of the West Valley in Cupertino, and served as education minister at United Presbyterian Churches in San Diego (Pacific Beach and College Park), Eureka (First) and Santa Rosa (First).  Through his ministry he transformed the lives of countless young people.  His ministry focused on Native American outreach, multi-media communications, and Ecumenism.

Following his active ministry, Devore served as television media instructor at Roosevelt and Taft Middle Schools for over 15 years.

Post retirement, Devore embraced the environmental movement, serving on the Sierra Club San Diego Chapter Executive Committee, Parks and Forest & Wilderness Committees.  He was highly regarded by environmental organizations and the faith community for his work in providing public address (PA) system support for events, meetings, churches and rallies.

A 3rd generation Manx, Devore and his wife Ruth were very active in the San Diego Manx Association.  He supported the bark Star of India, built on the Isle of Man, and docked at the San Diego Maritime Museum.  

A founding member of the Santa Rosa Cycling Club, Devore was a life-long bicycle enthusiast, incorporating cycling into his Christian youth ministry and family life.

A celebration of Devore's life will be held on Friday, July 6, 11 am at West Valley Presbyterian Church in Cupertino, CA, where Rev. Smith was founding pastor in 1955. Burial will follow that afternoon at Hills Ferry Cemetery in Newman, CA, where he will rest beside his loving wife Ruth Evangeline, who passed on June 2, 2009.

Devore is survived by son Geoffrey Devore Smith of Santa Rosa, daughter Kimberly Evangeline (Smith) Billman of Poway, grandchildren Matthew and Rebecca Billman of Poway, brothers Milton Smith of San Jose, Robert Smith of Sunnyvale, and Jim Smith of Sunnyvale, and their families.

In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to the San Diego River Park Foundation ‘Discovery Center Building Fund’ ( and the San Diego Manx Society’s Star of India Fund (mail checks to ‘San Diego Manx Society’ ℅ Geoffrey D. Smith, 1007 West College Ave., #435, Santa Rosa, CA  95401)


Devore will be sadly missed at NAMA. He has been a member for many years and served as our Chaplain until the end. A NAMA obituary will follow soon. May he rest in peace. Our love and condolences are extended 
to all his family. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Angela Byrne
THE Department of Economic Development has announced the appointment of Angela Byrne to the role of Head of Tourism.

Angela has 20 years experience in the tourism industry and was previously employed as the Quality and Service Manager in the Tourism Division.   Within this role, Angela was responsible for the registration and grading of all tourist accommodation; the Homestay scheme; Taste Isle of Man Scheme as well as the Tourism Awards. She had latterly spent time as an ‘Acting’ Head of Tourism role for six months, to help cover previous absence.

This is an important role within the Department and within the tourism industry itself. It is pivotal as a point of central contact and conduit for information and takes responsibility for driving forward strategies that will help ensure the continued success of our Isle of Man visitor economy.

Colin Kniveton, Chief Executive, Department of Economic Development, said:

‘We are very pleased to be able to promote from within our existing Isle of Man Tourism team and appreciate that Angela’s knowledge, skills and expertise will be a great asset.  This is a highly important role within our visitor economy and I am confident that she has the ambition and experience to strengthen the achievements of the Department and to drive tourism forward during what promises to be a continued period of economic challenge. 

Through hard work and enthusiasm Angela has already assisted a large number of stakeholders to become successful by advising them on ways to improve the visitor experience and the quality of their products.  I wish her every success in her new role.’

Commenting on her new position Angela Byrne said:

‘I am looking forward to helping to develop the industry, to implementing our tourism strategies and to the rewarding experience that those will bring.  I will ensure that in my new role as Head of Tourism I will be fully focused on identifying new opportunities and raising the profile of the Isle of Man as a visitor destination as part of our drive to further develop our visitor economy.’


Press Contact:
Angela Byrne, Head of Tourism
Email: Telephone: 01624 687083

Monday, June 25, 2012

Taking Afternoon Tea in the Beautiful Parville Gardens and Supporting the Caroline Pettit Trust

Although Parville House remains in private ownership, the extensive gardens which form part of the estate were open to the public this month, with an opportunity to explore the grounds and help raise funds for the Caroline Pettit Trust, a charity devoted to the restoration of this fine, historical building.

Situated alongside the main road in the village of Ballabeg in the south of the Island, the Parville estate is of interest to Manx historians and was first mentioned in the Manorial Roll in 1587 as ‘a cottage and croft owned by John Parr’. The Parr family originated from Lancashire and were one of several families who migrated to the Island from the English county following the establishment of the Stanley family as Lords of Mann. They subsequently held a number of important positions within the political and ecclesiastical framework of the Island, with Richard Parr awarded the position of Bishop of Sodor and Mann.

The name Parville, derived from a combination of the family name with the Latin word ‘villa’, remains unaltered but the property has changed hands several times during the intervening years and has been subject to a number of architectural modifications, although the core of the building is believed to date from the mid to late seventeenth century. Recent alterations to the house include new dormer windows.

Visitors were able to wander through a selection of gardens, each holding their own
charm and appealing to both the committed enthusiast and those who prefer a more
natural setting. The main garden, which separates the house from the road, was a riot of colour and although originally walled on all four sides was liberated many years ago by a previous owner. Most of the restoration to date has been dedicated to the main garden, the design largely coming from Mrs Pettit and her son-in-law, photographer Mycl Corrin, including allotted paths and a new bridge spanning the nineteenth century waterway. Mrs Pettit who still resides at the house is herself a keen plants’ woman, and has devoted many hours to developing new foliage throughout the grounds, with some influence from her native Sweden; she also designed the magnificent gazebo in the south-east of the garden. The stream has been dammed to create a wildlife pond, and beyond over a small bridge visitors were invited to take a relaxing walk through the naturally developed Parville Glen, ending with the colourful wild flower meadow.        

Further developments are on-going with the construction of a Parterre to replace an
old greenhouse and the remains of a number of soft fruit beds, and the creation of a
new kitchen garden at the rear of the house.

Valerie Caine
© June 2012 (inc. photos)
(Courtesy of Manx Tails)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Milner's Tower to be fixed up

A landmark in the south of the Isle of Man is to be renovated by the government at a cost of £90,000.
Photo by George Barnes, I hope he doesn't mind me using it .
 It is a fabulous shot of the tower with Port Erin in the background 
Milner's Tower, on Bradda Head in Port Erin, will undergo repairs to make damaged walls watertight.
It was constructed as a viewing tower in 1871 in memory of William Milner and ownership was transferred to the Manx government in 2009.
MHK Brenda Cannell said: "This work is a stitch in time which will save potential higher costs later on."
The work will be carried out by lime render experts Grenaby Limeworks, who have previously worked on Manx National Heritage sites including Rushen Abbey and Castle Rushen.
I've always been told that the tower is in the shape of a key to reflect the occupation of William Milner who was a safe maker. I was also told that the monument was to be erected in his honor by the people of Port Erin but when he found out he was mortified that they would use public funds to celebrate him and underwrote the project himself. Kelly

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Larne Times has great story

No fluke as skipper Peter snaps a rare minke whale picture

Peter Christian's picture of a minke whale breaching in the Irish Sea. INLT 24-615-CON
Peter Christian's picture of a minke whale breaching in the Irish Sea. INLT 24-615-CON
A RARE sighting of an eight-ton minke whale breaching in the Irish Sea is creating quite a stir.
Snapped by Peter Christian on board the Islandmagee-based rigid inflatable bloat (RIB) North Irish Diver, the photo has experts at the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group puzzled, because minkes don’t usually breach in local waters.
Peter was skippering the fast-charter RIB on the way back to Islandmagee from the Isle of Man TT on Friday, when the 26ft (eight metres) whale was spotted. It breached eight or nine times, sometimes very close to the boat, but the conditions were not great for photography and Peter’s picture was taken through the screen on the boat.
However, Peter Steele of North Irish Diver Ltd is confident the whale is a minke because it has a distinctive white patch on its pectoral fin.
“It is rare for minke whales to be caught breaching in these waters, as they are normally much more sedate,” Peter explained.
“It is thought that breaching could be associated with a number of reasons: a demonstration of power; trying to stun its prey; trying to dislodge parasites; or playful behaviour,” he added.

Isle Of Man Firm Offering £100m Trips To Moon

Isle Of Man Firm Offering £100m Trips To Moon

This is very cool! Check it out. A British company is offering seats to adventurers willing to go the extra mile on a historic journey to the moon. The first 500,000-mile round trip in a converted Soviet-era space station could take place as early as 2015. Art Dula, founder and chief executive of Isle of Man-based Excalibur Almaz, told a space tourism meeting in London: "We're ready to sell the tickets."  Only those with the "right stuff" should apply: besides the necessary level of physical and mental fitness, that includes a likely fare of around £100 million per person.

Northern Lights Community Centre is Shining Bright in Ramsey

The Isle of Man’s strong sense of community spirit remains a consistently important aspect of Island life, but the phenomenal success of the Northern Lights Community Centre may turn out to be a catalyst for similar centres to be opened within the communities of Peel and Port Erin in the future.

Situated close to the heart of Ramsey’s retail sector on Bowring Road (opposite Shoprite car park) this new venture is the brainchild of Natalie and Sam Jenkins, and aims to provide a venue where all members of the community can relax and share their experiences in a safe and comfortable environment.

To accommodate the rapid increase in demand for this new facility Natalie and Sam have extended their trading hours, with the premises now open from Tuesday to Sunday until late in the evening (see their website for further details).

The Northern Lights Community Centre is a mine of activity, and was inspired by Natalie’s dad, the late Philip Maddrell of Peel who motivated many of today’s Manx musicians, and aims to reflect the desires of the community it serves.

Established as a registered Manx charity, the ground floor of the centre has become a popular meeting place for shoppers and friends to gather over a frothing Latte, a lip-smacking Cream Tea, or perhaps a hot, buttered jacket potato, from a menu that has now been extended to offer a greater range of food and drink (organic where possible) including catering for the requirements of both vegans and vegetarians. And there’s no need to worry about keeping an eye on those little people who have their own special play area to enjoy.

But this deceptively spacious building will offer a venue for ‘plug and play’ rehearsals when phase two has been completed, a fully equipped recording studio and space for a whole variety of workshops exploring all aspects of music and creative arts, accommodating a gallery space for exhibitions and providing a position for an artist in residence.

Recent additions to the centre include film nights on Sunday evenings, popular ‘open-mic’ sessions on Friday and Saturday nights, and a weekly Farmers’ Market held each Saturday morning.

Despite its early success the Northern Lights Community Centre currently relies on the generosity of fundraising and donations and any offers of help and assistance will be gratefully accepted, whether it be time, running of workshops, equipment, labour, supplies, funding or simply advice. Natalie and Sam have also introduced an innovative ‘time exchange scheme’ which lets volunteers recoup their time at the centre by offering free availability of workshops, recording sessions and rehearsal studios

Natalie and Sam envisage the Northern Lights Community Centre as being a centre of activity, learning, growth and hospitality and have shown what can be achieved with a little thought, understanding and plenty of good friends!

Valerie Caine
© June 2012
(Courtesy of Manx Tails)

Bob Kelly update

Uncle Bob (Bob Kelly, Emeritus Governor of NAMA) was admitted to the ICU at Rockford Memorial Hospital today. He has respiratory problems, difficulty breathing and speaking.  We had visited him on Saturday to go over his mail and were concerned with his breathing and lack of strength. They were able to stabilize his blood pressure at the hospital. They took x-rays and a cat scan and used a needle to pull a liter of fluid from his left lung. We weren’t able to speak with him tonight but hope to tomorrow.  The nurse said his vital signs are good.

We’ll keep you posted on any developments. Please keep Bob in your prayers.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Great news

The latest data have unemployment down below 1000 on the Isle of Man for the first time in 2012.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chief Minister welcomes findings of Ernst & Young economic study into Isle of Man - Chief Secretary's Office Press Release

AN independent report published today (Friday, June 1) provides further evidence of the Isle of Man’s positive contribution to the global economy.

The Economic Research Report, commissioned by the Isle of Man Government and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, describes the Island as a key commercial partner that delivers many benefits to the international community, to the UK, and City of London in particular. The report finds compelling evidence of this contribution by showing that the Island provided $38.9 billion in net financing to the UK in the second quarter of 2011, according to Bank of England statistics.
The Island’s progression from a largely rural economy into a diversified and thriving International Business Centre (IBC) is highlighted, along with its position at the forefront of regulatory standards. The report also counters critics who claim that IBCs cause distortions in the global economic and financial system, saying a large body of independent research has ‘strongly proved the opposite is in fact true.’ It adds: ‘IBCs play a key role in contributing to investment, employment and growth in neighbouring countries in particular, and the global economy in general.’
The Ernst & Young report is based on a robust and independent analysis of the facts and data, and the results of a series of interviews with key stakeholders. The findings provide solid evidence that the Isle of Man is a responsible and transparent country that benefits the UK and emerging world markets.
Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK said:
‘This report provides an objective view of the Isle of Man’s economic strengths and the significant contribution we make to the global economy. It also emphasises the Island’s vital role, particularly since the credit crunch of 2008, as a provider of financial flows to UK and international markets in three main areas: liquidity, listed companies and investment. One of the overriding conclusions from the report is that the UK and Isle of Man benefit from each other’s success, and it is in the best interests of the UK to see the Island do well. This is a message we will continue to deliver to UK Government Ministers, MPs and business leaders in Westminster and the City of London.’
The report charts the Isle of Man’s ‘remarkable’ transformation, from an economy based on agriculture, tourism and fishing, with unemployment exceeding 10%, into a dynamic IBC with per capita income higher than the EU average. It says the main driver behind 28 years of unbroken growth has been the Government strategy to support the diversification of the economy into high value added sectors such as advanced engineering and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
The broadening of the Island’s business base, combined with the development of an intelligent regulatory framework aligned to international standards, has also helped to mitigate the impact of the international financial crisis. The report identifies the resilience of the Isle of Man economy as providing significant benefits to the City and UK during a period of unprecedented turmoil.
‘The Isle of Man has outperformed many IBCs in the provision of liquidity over the past years and in particular during the financial crisis when liquidity was most needed in the UK financial markets. The Isle of Man’s role in supporting the UK economy’s growth and its financial sector is often underestimated. A reduction of this role is very likely to lead to unintended negative consequences, which might be overlooked by policy decisions,’ according to the report.
To view a copy of the report, please click here

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Senior Race canceled for first time.

The 2012 Isle of Man TT came to a close today with the already postponed Senior race being cancelled for the first time in the event’s 105-year history. A course inspection by race control and rider representatives, including Honda TT Legend John McGuinness, deemed the race unsafe to go ahead due to poor weather conditions. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Betjemanx - John Betjeman and his Links with the Isle of Man

Written by former Douglas Borough Librarian, John Bowring, and published by the Isle of Man branch of The Betjeman Society, this revealing and informative little volume is an important addition to both the burgeoning Manx bookshelf and the extensive collection of books detailing the life and works of the former Poet Laureate.

Introduced to the Island by fellow poet W. H. Auden, Betjeman’s affection for the Isle of Man lasted a lifetime and he wasted no opportunity in extolling its virtues to his many fans and readers.

His views of Island life, brought together from different sources, make absorbing reading as Betjeman describes his varied experiences with candour and honesty, albeit occasionally tinged with a little romanticism. Betjeman’s interest and curiosity in people, architecture and landscape ensured that there was much to entertain him during his numerous visits to the Island, with a selection of photographs reproduced in the book.

Known for his eccentricities and idiosyncratic nature, the name Betjemanx reflects the poet’s enjoyment of reconstructing his surname to suit the context; occasionally signing himself as the Manx sounding Ewan Quetjeman.

Betjeman became both President of the Erin Arts Centre and Patron of the Mananan Festival and news of his death came as a huge blow to his many friends on the Isle of Man.

Copies of the book, priced at £6 including post and packing, are available from the Isle of Man branch of The Betjeman Society based at the Erin Arts Centre.

Valerie Caine
© June 2012 (Courtesy of Manx Tails)

Failt erriu

One percent more power = one percent more torque

Michael Rutter and Team Segway Racing MotoCzysz made history on the Isle of Man today by becoming the first team to record a 100mph lap of the course in the SES TT Zero race in what is being hailed as one of the greatest achievements in the event’s one hundred and five year history.
For the race it had the honor of being No 1. 
John McGuinness closely followed Rutter home on the Team Mugen Shinden machine with Michael Rutter’s MotoCzysz teammate Mark Miller taking the final podium slot, with all three breaking the prestigious 100mph mark, which was first achieved by a conventional bike by Scotsman Bob McIntyre in 1957.
After a series of weather delays and revisions to the running order, ten machines lined up for the 2012 SES TT Zero race at the Isle of Man TT Races. Damp patches were reported around the course following the earlier rain but nothing was going to prevent the Midlands man from his history-making lap.
Michael Rutter had the honour of carrying the number one plate and was the first away down Glencrutchery Road and quickly established a lead of over 30 seconds at the first checkpoint at Glen Helen from John McGuinness with Mark Miller a further 3 seconds back in third. Yoshinari Matsushita, representing Japanese outfit Komatti-Mirai Racing was running in fourth place with Rob Barber on the Austrian TGM IOT outfit completing the top five. More here.