Monday, April 22, 2013

Lily's on the move

April 2013
Greetings all!

Last month was a wonderful whirlwind of music making in Brittany, Lithuania and Finland and I’m happy to say that my fingers have nearly thawed out from the Helsinki snowstorm! 
It’s been a few years since I was last in Brittany so it was very exciting to return for the Bono Winter School and teach alongside such an inspiring group of musicians!  In Vilnius I performed for the Saint Patrick’s Day events for the Embassy in Ireland. 
My performance was in The Tolerance Center of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, which has a beautiful theatre with a remarkable history; I was very proud to perform there.  My last stop was Helsinki, where I coached students at my alma mater The Sibelius Academy (and braved a few snowstorms!). 
Next up are two performances in the Washington, D.C. area:

  • May 18th for the Swift Run Concert Series in Fairfax Station, Virginia. For more info ring 703 426 1450 or visit

Hope to see some of you there!


Friday, April 12, 2013

Friends and Heroes / Caarjyn as Fenee cartoon series.

The last few years have seen some fantastic developments on the Manx language front but one which deserves special praise is the launch this week of the Manx Gaelic version of Friends and Heroes / Caarjyn as Fenee cartoon series.

First show on the BBC in 2007 and already available in eleven languages the Manx Gaelic version is illustrative of what a vibrant and exciting time it is for the Manx Language. Friends and Heroes, or Caarjyn as Fenee, as they’d say in Manx Gaelic (Gaelg) is set in the first century AD and follows the adventures of two children, Macky and Portia. As they engage in countless escapades and fight for justice across the Roman world, they share the timeless stories of the Bible and learn lessons that help them through many trials and tribulations. Each episode uses a combination of traditional hand-drawn and stunning computer generated animation to bring the stories to life.
These fun Biblical stories are set in the first century AD and follow the adventures of two children, Macky and Portia, as they engage in countless escapades and fight for justice across the Roman world.
The project has been made possible by the generosity of Friends and heroes Production LTD, which produced the animated series, and which is part of the AFD group based in Ramsey. At a special presentation to mark the launch of the Manx translation, complete sets were given to the heads of two schools on the Isle of Man - Julie Matthews, Headteacher of Bunscoill and Anthony Robinson, Headteacher of Michael School. Over the coming days every Primary and Secondary school on the Island will receive a free complete Series 1 set of DVDs. The gift to schools is being made possible by Friends and Heroes Productions Ltd who produced the animated programmes, which is part of the AFD Group (including AFD Software Ltd,based in Ramsey on the Isle of Man.
"We are very excited to be getting a copy of Friends and Heroes in Manx," said Julie Matthews, Headteacher at The Bunscoill. "It sends a message to the children that Manx is for us today, not just something from the past. To have such a high quality resource as this is brilliant!"
First shown on BBC TV in 2007, Friends and Heroes is already available in 11 language versions including: Arabic; Chinese (Mandarin); English; French; German; Hindi/Urdu; Italian; Korean; Portuguese (Brazilian); Russian and Spanish (South American) and has now been translated into Manx with the help of the Manx Heritage Foundation. The complete series with nearly 5½ hours of animated excitement is available in a  4-DVD set retailing at a subsidised price of just £20.

“This is ‘Yindyssagh erskyn towse’- (Fantastic above all measure) and is a real breakthrough for Manx Gaelic (Gaelg).” said Adrian Cain, Manx Language Officer for the Manx Heritage Foundation.“Each programme features a full Manx soundtrack as well as English and Manx sub-titles, making a fantastic teaching and learning resource and helping give Manx Gaelic a much higher profile both on the island and internationally.”
David Dorricott, MD of the production company said, "The AFD group has thrived since moving to Ramsey, Isle of Man in 1997 - and our staff have enjoyed the superb quality of life here. The Celtic roots of this Island Nation go back many centuries, and they are interwoven with the Celtic Christianity of the Irish and Scottish Celtic saints. When the opportunity arose to make a Manx translation of the Friends and Heroes Children's animation series, which we first produced for the BBC, we were simply delighted. Not only will this provide the very first children’s animation series in the Manx Language; the entertaining adventures of Macky and Portia and their friends also bring the Bible stories, so important to Celtic culture, into 21st Century life.”

To see the first half episode of Friends and Heroes in Manx and to purchase a copy go to

The DVD box set consists of 13, 25 minutes episodes, in Manx - nearly 5½ hours of animated material in total - and comes with subtitle options in both Manx and English. The DVD is available to buy here
Alison Dorricott, Executive Producer, of Friends and Heroes came up with the idea of translating the series into Manx whilst attending a language course ran by Adrian Cain, the Manx Language Development Officer, for the Manx Heritage Foundation. Bob Carswell RBV was responsible for the translations whilst Paul Rogers recorded and edited the material.

The whole project was made possible due to fantastic support from the Manx Language community, who provided the voices for the characters, as well as the Manx Heritage Foundation, The Gaelic Broadcasting Committee andManx Radio.

The release of this Box set closely follows the release of The Gruffalo in Manx - The Gruffalo's Child will be released later this year -  and the development of a fantasticLearnmanx app for Android and iphones. It's definitely a great and exciting time to be involved with the Manx language. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Isle of Man unemployment figures continue to rise

A treasury report shows the amount of people out of work at the end of March to have increased to 1,208 from 1,181 at the end of February.

The figure represents an unemployment rate of 2.7%, which is the highest level for 17 years. (We can only dream!)

The last time unemployment figures on the island were higher, was in August 1996, when the figure reached 1,211.

During March more than 200 additional people signed on despite the availability of 247 jobs.

The latest figures (October -December 2012) from the Office of National Statistics show UK unemployment to stand at 7.8%.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Richard Shipman -- Greater Washington Area Manx Society passes away

"Richard Shipman walking his dog, Otto, on Capitol Hill circa 2004."

Richard and his Manx-born wife Avril Shipman were charter members of GWAMS. 
Richard died March 22nd, following complications from a stroke and a long illness.

Plans for a Roman Catholic Memorial Mass are being arranged.

Condolences can be mailed to:

Mrs. Avril E. Shipman
12 5th St, NE
Washington, DC 20002-5934

A rudimentary tribute page is also available online:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Not a member of NAMA yet?

Click here and follow the instructions:

Can you help s Janice Humphreys?


My name is Janice Humphreys (nee Moore) and I live in Burnie  in Tasmania. I am of a Manx descent. My great grandfather was John Leece Moore, born in 1843. He left the Isle in the  1870s and went to New Zealand. 

I am  looking for any Manx connections that live in the US. I am also a mature student doing a post grad in Local and Applied Family History through a Australian University, UNE. 

I am currently researching The Manx Convicts that were transported to the American Colonies, mainly Virginia in the late 1700s and are looking for any Manx descendants that have any Manx convicts in there family trees. In the 1800s transportation to America was replaced with transportation to Australia mainly Tasmania were I now live. There are several families here that can be traced back to the Isle.

Hopefully some one can help me with research which is the continuation of Manx man, Hampton Creer's Research that was carried out over a decade ago. My email is or

Thank you for any help.