Stroke Club review
Stroke Foundation have the opportunity to attend Stroke Club meetings. More information about the Stroke Club and a link to
future events can be found by clicking here.
A quarterly newsletter called Update is sent out
to members and previous editions can be found in our
As you will be aware the spread of the coronavirus is a major worry at this time. It is especially concerning to the elderly and those who have underlying health conditions.
We must take this matter seriously and therefore we'd like to draw your attention to our
10th November Musicale
We were delighted to welcome back Musicale choir on Thursday 10th November. Judy Wood, the musical director, put together a wonderful programme of songs old and new and they
were accompanied by John Riley on the piano. They began the evening with ‘I will Sing with the Spirits’ by Rutter and continued with a varied programme including a Salsa
style ‘Cantar’, George Formby’s ‘Leaning on a Lamp post’, and romantic songs such as ‘Close to You’, ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ and ‘Rise up My Love’. They included a Manx
section with a wonderful rendition of ‘Ellan Vannin’, ‘Song of the Hills’ and a poem by Cushag in Manx Dialect ‘Traa dy Liooar’. With Remembrance Day so close they included
appropriate songs such as ’Go Forth into the World in Peace’ and ‘Requiem for a Soldier’. The choir and audience joined together to sing ‘Pack up your Troubles’ and ‘It’s a
long way to Tipperary’. After Rutter’s ‘The Lord Bless You and Keep You’ the concert closed with a rousing ‘Lullaby of Broadway’ from the musical 42nd Street, which set the
feet tapping all the way home!
24th November Floral Decorations for Christmas
Our club night on Thursday 24th November got us all into the season’s spirit when Susan Magee demonstrated flower arrangements for Christmas. She showed us how to make a
Christmas wreath, a swag and a Christmas cracker made from milk cartons! Whilst putting together these beautiful creations she informed us about materials to use and where to
obtain them and, of course, all the greenery needed as well as the little decorations. She advised us to use lots of greenery such as soft conifers, pittosporum and ivy. Holly
can also be used but it is very prickly and she advised us not to use it on a wreath that would hang on the door as it would scratch and damage the door. It was a very
interesting presentation enjoyed by all present, especially those who won the floral decorations in the raffle!
13th October MINDFULNESS
We welcomed Mike Kewley, teacher of mindfulness, back to the stroke club on Thursday 13th October. He gave an interesting talk on the history of mindfulness and how the mind
can get cluttered with all sort of thoughts that get in the way of our well-being. Mindfulness helps us to de-clutter the mind and to be aware of the present and enjoy the
world around us. Mike then led us in an exercise of ‘mindfulness’ – breathing and relaxation. We focused on the ‘now’ – our breathe or a distant sound – and let everything
else go. It was a very enlightening experience enjoyed by those present.
27th October Halloween supper and Bingo!
Feast and fun were the optimum words for our Halloween celebration on Thursday 27th October 2022. The evening commenced with a buffet supper of sandwiches, sausage rolls,
quiches and pastries, followed by a selection of cakes. Once everyone had their fill the fun began with a game of Bingo, expertly called by Jane. There were prizes for the
first to get a line as well as the one who shouted House! Some members took the opportunity to dress for the occasion and prizes were given to the two best costumes. All too
soon it was time to go home and many had a little doggie bag to take with them.
Club Outing For Afternoon Tea 8th September
On Thursday 8th September we, once again, enjoyed a sumptuous afternoon tea at Peel Golf club. Thirty-four members and guests tucked into a range of sandwiches, pastries, and
quiche, followed by cakes, scones and fruit. We all had our fill and there was still enough left for the ‘doggy bags’. The room buzzed with conversation as people made new
friends and caught up with the news of old friends. The staff at the golf club were so attentive and helped to make it a wonderful afternoon. We all went home sated and happy.
Then, just an hour or two later, we heard the sad news of the passing of our beloved Queen. Truly, a day to remember.
22nd September A Postcard Tour of the Isle of Man
Peter Kelly entitled his talk on Thursday 22nd September as ‘A Postcard Tour of the Isle of Man’ and it certainly was a full tour of the island as seen in Edwardian times. The
tour began at the pier in Douglas showing the ferries of that time, the lines of horse trams taking all the visitors to their destinations and the horse and carts with their
full load of luggage all stacked in order to be delivered to the hotels along the prom. We visited Cunningham’s camp, Port Skillion baths and the Pierrot show on Douglas head
and then along Marine Drive to Port Soderick in all its splendour. Among the places illustrated were Kirk Braddan with its vast congregation, Hall Caine’s Greeba Castle, Glen
Helen, St John’s and Tynwald Day in the time of Lord Raglan, Patrick Church, Rushen Abbey, Silverdale with the rowing boats, Castle Rushen and Bradda Glen.
The tour then started
back up to the North via Niarbyl, Kirk Michael and on to Ramsey. We continued on to Port Lewaigue and Maughold, with the Celtic Cross still in place outside the church yard.
Laxey, Dhoon glen and Glen Wyllin were also included. So many places and how smart the island looked at that time. Certainly, well worth the visit!
11th August Dive to the Titanic – Sean O’Connell
Our presentation on Thursday 11th August 2022 was given by Sean O’Connell, a former police officer in Dublin and later a police diver working in Bosnia and elsewhere. In 2000
he was part of the team making a dive to the Titanic to survey the site which is spread over five miles and at a considerable depth. He told us of his experience travelling
across the Atlantic which took six days and then on a Russian Survey vessel on which were two submersibles which make the dive to the Titanic site. We were given an
interesting account of the experience of the three crew in the submersible, which did not give much room for movement, for the ten hours they were inside. The photographs of
the Titanic site were fascinating, as were those showing the complexity and danger of getting the submersible into and out of the water. This was an excellent presentation
and we will no doubt be asking Sean to come again.
14th July Silke Strohschenk – Qijong
Silke Stroschenk gave us an excellent introduction to Qigong on Thursday 14th July. Qigong has its roots in Chinese medicine and has been around since 2600 BC. Silke led us
through breathing exercises, movement and visualisation but in such a way that we couldn’t help but smile and even giggle. We were able to relax and let the cares of the day
fade away. It was, for most of us, a new experience and all of us were able to benefit. If a movement was difficult Silke encouraged us to visualise doing it. It was a very
relaxing and fun evening. Hopefully we can invite Silke to come again and bring her ‘sparkles’ into our club night.
23rd June Sheeayn Millish Choir
Sheeayn Millish Choir burst into song with ‘The Street Where You Live’, on our club night on Thursday 23rd June. They followed this with a wonderful selection of songs,
giving us a breath-taking evening’s entertainment. These included Freddie Mercury’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Blue Skies’ from the musical Betsey, and Elton John’s ‘Can You Feel
the Love Tonight’. We were then given a rendition of Pam Ayres poem, ‘Ode to 50 Shades of Grey’ – naughty but funny! The choir then performed ‘Sing Gently’ (which was
performed during the Covid restrictions by a virtual choir made up singers from 24 different countries). The concert continued with more lovely songs including ‘Wherever you
go’, ‘You Raise Me Up’ and ‘A Million Dreams’ from the film The Greatest Showman until the finale with ‘Bring Him Home’ from Les Miserables. Gareth Deacon, as musical director,
gave us a real treat with his selection of songs. The choir was ably accompanied on the piano by Stuart Corey.
12th May Afternoon Tea at Peel Golf Club
Once again, the time had arrived for our Spring Outing, and looking back we have chosen the Peel Golf Club, occasionally, for at least 18 years which is no better indication
of the venue’s popularity. Forty members, including new members and guests, gathered and settled in for an afternoon of companionship. The tea was served with a variety of
tempting fare to suit all tastes and everybody tucked in. The staff were most attentive, ensuring tea pots were Topped Up. A few words were said to recognise our appreciation
to Alex and her staff and then by approximately 4.30pm and, with taxis arriving, members gradually departed. Surely, it will not be too long before we assemble at the Golf
Club on a future occasion.
26th May - Downing Street by Christopher English
On Thursday 26th May we enjoyed a very interesting talk about Downing Street given by Christopher English, who was a trustee of the Silverware Trust, which was formed in 1982
to put together and maintain a collection of silverware at 10 Downing Street. However, the talk informed us of Downing Street itself from its beginning in the 1600’s to the
present day. There were many diverse incumbents at No. 10 including Robert Walpole, Beau Brummel, who grew up there, and of course all the Prime Ministers since 1735.
Downing Street was named after George Downing, its first resident. In the 18th Century, Charles 2nd daughter, the Countess of Lichfield, lived in the Big House which backed
onto No. 10 and overlooked the Horse Guards Parade. Number 10 has since merged into the Big House and has a total of 177 rooms. It was not always a pleasant place to live
and some Prime Ministers preferred to live in their own houses. It was refurbished in the late 19th, early 20th Centuries to make it grander but it has needed modernisation
over recent times. Mrs Thatcher in particular decided that the rooms should be improved. All in all, it was an enjoyable peek into the home of our Prime Ministers. We are
grateful to Mr English for his talk and hope that he will come back to tell us a little more about the magnificent silverware collection at No. 10.
14th April Commonwealth War Graves Commission Michael Josem
Michael Josem gave an excellent, illustrated talk on the origin and the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) at our club night on 14th April 2022. Before the
First World War the resting places of those who died in battle were lost forever. Sir Fabian Ware worked to rectify this and the CWGC was formed. Work started in earnest in
1918 to locate the burials and graves of a million people who had no named grave. There were thousands of small cemeteries around Northern France and therefore larger sites
were laid out in a burial plan which also included a memorial to the ‘unknown soldier’. The objectives were that each of the Commonwealth dead should be commemorated by name
on a headstone or a memorial, that memorials and headstones should be permanent and that they should be uniform with no distinction for rank. There was also space at the
bottom for personal inscriptions – Michael read out some very moving ones.
There are six countries represented in the CWGC and the Isle of Man comes under the UK. There are
363 commemorations in 21 sites on the Isle of Man, most are in Douglas Borough and in Bride there is just one. Five local volunteers on the island maintain these sites. In
Patrick there are Turkish graves, these were enemy combatants, and each year a visitor from Turkey comes to put flowers on the graves. The work of the Commission continues to
maintain and, in some cases, reconstruct memorials which have been destroyed by wars such as in Iraq. There is a repository of information which is gradually being digitised.
This was a fascinating and informative presentation which left us with much to ponder. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission exists to ensure that We will remember them.
28th April ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Our Annual General Meeting for 2022 was held on 28th April. The President, Dr Khuraijam, and the chair, Jane Bridge, were both unable to attend so David Mammen,
vice-chair, ably presided over the meeting. The annual report and the annual accounts, which had been previously circulated, were approved by the members. Under the Constitution of
the Manx Stroke Foundation all trustees wereag obliged to resign at the close of business. However, they were able to put themselves forward for re-election and so the trustees and
officers were elected thus:
As this was the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Manx Stroke Foundation we celebrated with light refreshments of cake and tea following the meeting.
10th March - Poetry with Zoe Cannel
On Thursday March 10th, members were treated to an evening of poetry with Zoe Cannell. This was Zoe’s second visit to the stroke club. The first time was in 2020 during her
time as Manx Bard. She began her recitations with ‘Dog in the Playground’, a funny poem about the havoc caused by a dog’s visit to a school and then recited ‘The Hippopotamus
Song’ (made famous by Flanders and Swann. These poems certainly raised the spirits of the audience. These were followed by T S Elliot’s ‘McCavity’ and then Eleanor Farjeon’s
‘A Morning Song’ – better known as the hymn ‘Morning has Broken’ – both of these she recited and she then sang a humorous work entitled ‘The Headmaster’s Hymn’. We enjoyed
other favourites such as Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’ -the Nation’s favourite poem, and ‘Oh, I wish I’d looked after my teeth’ by Pam Ayres. Interspersed with the poems Zoe told us
about her time as the Manx Bard. A very pleasant evening was had by all.
24th March - Peter Corrin – Afloat and Ashore
On Thursday 24th March, Captain Peter Corrin gave us an illustrated talk about his career as a seaman with the Isle of Man Steam Packet. Peter’s interest in boats started at
an early age when as a 6-year-old he would join his father on the Ben boats during school holidays. The Bens were coal boats that were familiar all around the Irish Sea –
Shetland, the Channel Islands and Ireland. It was his ambition to join the ships and as a 16-year-old he joined the Ben Varrey as a deck boy. He then became an able seaman on
the Ramsey and, after a few years, took his exams for Officer. He went on to be the Master of the Mona’s Isle and later was promoted to Marine Superintendent whose job was
to ensure all requirements were in place for safety – this was after the disaster of the Herald of Free Enterprise when many recommendations and regulations were brought in.
Peter’s talk was illustrated showing the changes in the Steam Packet fleet. In 1955 the fleet consisted of nine passenger ships and three cargo ships. In those days there
were no sailings on a Sunday. The ships changed from steam to motor and the late 50’s and early 60’s saw a very successful period for the Steam Packet. In 1962 the first car
ferry joined the fleet – the Manx Maid which carried 1400 passengers and 40 cars. We were reminded of the lovely lounges in the boats of that time. The beginning of change
came in the aftermath of the seamen’s strike in 1966 and later the Ronagency business which brought in containers. In the late 80’s there was an interest in fast-craft and
Peter was part of a delegation that went to Hobart in New Zealand to look at the craft. The Seacat came into operation with Steam Packet and, later the Mannanan, which was
stronger and faster. The Ben my Chree joined the fleet in 1998 and it will celebrate 25 years in operation next year when we will welcome. the new Manx Man. Peter said that
his career had been a privilege and a pleasure and that is how we could describe his presentation to us.
24th February - The Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch
On Thursday 24th February 2022, Briony from the Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch (MWDW) came to tell us about their work. The MWDW came into being in 2006 when John Galpin, who
had watched the dolphins and whales from his home on the coast at Dalby, found out there were no studies or records on the island. He contacted the Sea Watch Foundation in
Wales and, with help from scientific studies, started collecting data. Their work involves research to safeguard whales, dolphins and porpoises in Manx waters. People often
ask about basking sharks although they are fish rather than mammals. They are mostly spotted from the Peel to Sound coast from mid-May to mid-August. Basking sharks remain
near the surface for hours feeding on plankton, which is where they differ from whales and dolphins who only surface to breathe and then dive down again.
The ‘big five’ Manx cetacean species are: harbour porpoises, the common dolphin, the bottlenose dolphin, Risso’s dolphin and the Minke whale.
The harbour porpoise is resident all year round and lives in small groups. It is about 1.5 metres with a round head and is dark on top and white underneath.
The common dolphin is 2.5 metres and can be recognised by a yellow flash on the side. It is often spotted on the West coast but likes deeper water so about 6 miles off the coast.
The bottlenose dolphin is the classic one and can be up to 4 metres. They are grey with white bellies and travel in pods of about 100. They are predominantly seen on the East coast
from October to March although occasionally in summer.
The Risso’s dolphin is also about 4 metres but with a blunt head and no beak. It tends to travel from Niarbyl, south and round to Marine Drive and mostly spotted from March to
October. It is born pale grey and then darkens but has many white scratches most likely from fights or from prey (octopus or squid).
The Minke whale is the only whale likely to be seen in Manx waters. It is 7 – 9 metres long with a dorsal fin, three-quarters along the back. In the summer it is further off
the coast in the West to South. In autumn and winter, it is closer to the shore on the East coast.
We were shown wonderful illustrations of all these animals and will no doubt be able to identify them when out at the coast!
January 2022 - No meetings due to rise in Covid 19 numbers
Christmas Lunch 6th December
The Christmas celebration on 9th December 2021 was held at the Hawthorn Inn when 39 members and friends enjoyed a two-course lunch with all the Christmas trimmings. Crackers
were pulled and jokes enjoyed, and conversation filled the room. A special raffle was held with some lovely prizes for the lucky ones. It was a lovely way to end our stroke
club programme for 2021.
11th November An evening of song with Colin Brew
On Thursday 11th November 2021, we enjoyed an evening of song with Colin Brew. Colin, whose parents have been long time members of the Foundation, took up singing about
two years previously. Since then, he has given concerts at Nursing Homes (pre-covid of course) and has put his songs on You Tube and got quite a following! His first songs
for us were ‘Starry, Starry Night’ followed by ‘Streets of London’ – the first two songs he ever performed. Then we enjoyed a selection of songs from 50’s, 60’s and up to
recent times. Toes (and even the occasional walking stick) were tapping and hands were jiving to songs of the Beatles, Kinks, Cliff and Fats Domino. Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet
Caroline’ kept the tempo up. Then we were taken into a more thoughtful mood when Colin gave a lovely rendition of ‘The Last Farewell’ – a Roger Whittaker song. The concert
finished with ‘Scarborough Fair’. Sylvia then thanked Colin for a thoroughly pleasant evening and a hope that he would entertain us again.
25th November BINGO!
On 25th November 2021 our planned speaker was unable to attend so instead we held a Bingo night. There was a mixture of experts and novices amongst us and some who hadn’t
played for many years! But it turned out to be a very enjoyable evening with many prizes being won. Refreshments were served during a break in proceedings giving time for
conversation and a catch up on everyone’s news. A very pleasant evening was had by all.
28th October Afternoon Tea at Peel Golf Club
After a few stops and starts we recommenced our stroke club programme on 28th October2021 with an outing for afternoon tea at Peel Golf Club. On a very wet Thursday afternoon
twenty-four of us enjoyed a sumptuous feast. We were treated to a selection of sandwiches, pastries and quiche and then cakes, macaroons and cream scones! No one went home
hungry and many of us took doggy bags. We were made so welcome, and all tastes were catered for. We will certainly be retuning to Peel Golf Club again.
August - September 2021 - No meetings due to rise in Covid 19 numbers
8th July - Pat Wiles – DO! Developing Orphans
On July 8th Pat Wiles made her third visit to the stroke club to tell us about the progress of the charity DO! Developing Orphans. Following the war in Uganda there were many
orphans left to fend for themselves. In 2008 the charity helped 193 orphans in two towns in Northern Uganda, Padibe and Acholi. Their ages were from 2 years to 14 years and were
all in child -headed families. With help from a grant from the Isle of Man Government all 34 families were given a basic house, some chickens and a goat and some acres in which to
grow food. Those not needed to look after their younger brothers and sisters were able to go to school. Over the years many have gone through school and were able to take up
vocations. But it was not easy and there have been many obstacles along the way not least the threat from the Ugandan Government wanting to take over the land belonging to the
orphans. Over the years the charity has persevered to protect and help those children survive and prosper. The school is one of the top schools in Uganda coming 507th out of
13,500 schools. This last year the Covid-19 pandemic has made things difficult as all schools had to close and those in their last year were unable to qualify – which would mean
they would not get work or study for professions. However, they were all found vocational courses so that they could find work once completed. The charity has given those
children safety, education and a future. We were in admiration of all that Pat and her colleagues have achieved over the years.
22nd July Mike Kewley Mindfulness in a Nutshell
We all enjoyed a little piece of calm on Thursday 22nd July when Mike Kewley introduced us to Mindfulness. Mike teaches mindfulness to all kinds – those who are anxious or
depressed or struggling with unhelpful thoughts, chronic pain or dealing with a life event. Mindfulness helps us to navigate through the ‘smog’ in our minds rather than thinking
about the past or worrying about the future. He gave us a short practice of letting our minds relax and to just live ‘in the moment’. This presentation will certainly benefit us
all and no doubt will encourage us to find out more. We are so grateful to Mike for his enlightening and relaxing talk.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - Thursday 10th June
The 24th Annual General Meeting was held on the 10thJune 2021, a little later than usual as it was delayed due to the lockdown. In total thirty-three members attended which
included our President, Dr Khuraijam, and the committee members. Jane opened the meeting and welcomed everyone and called upon Dr Khuraijam to give his opening address. His
concern this year was that there are people on the island who have had strokes but do not know of the existence of the Manx Stroke Foundation. Perhaps a call to all of us to
spread the word. Eight of the existing committee members were re-elected and Liz Forbes was newly elected to the committee. Liz has been running the Stroke Art group for thirteen
years, so she is a welcome addition to the committee. The current committee members are:
One main agenda item was the adoption of the replacement Constitution. This was needed to bring the Foundation up to date and make sure that it complied with the Charities Registration
and Regulation Bill 2018. All thirty-three members present voted in favour of adopting the replacement Constitution.
Before closing the meeting Jane announced that, after many years on the committee of the Foundation, Les Quayle, Vice-Chairman, had decided it was time to stand down. Les has been a
calm and knowledgeable presence on the committee and he will be missed. He was presented with a card and small gift from his colleagues on the committee.
The evening closed with light refreshments and general chat amongst the members.
Thursday 24th June Castletown Brewery
On Thursday 24th June 2021 we were entertained by a slide show and talk about Castletown Brewery from Dave Collister. Dave took a summer job as bookkeeper at Castletown Brewery
in 1963 but was still there years later in 1986. The talk was illustrated with slides of images of Castletown some dating back to the early 1900’s. The brewery was first
established in 1780 and went through a number of changes of ownership until it was bought by Heron and Brierley in the 1980’s and finally closed in 1987.Before it closed many
photographs were taken for posterity, but they were misplaced, and it took thirty years to trace them. Fortunately for us Dave was given the task of sorting them and hence was
able to show them to us. We had a tour of the brewing process and learnt a lot about brewing. Those members from Castletown recognised and were able to name many of the people on
the slides. Many of us could almost recall the smell of the hops! Castletown ales achieved many medals for its brewing from Prague, Copenhagen, London Luxembourg and Belgium. We
are grateful to Dave for an excellent and knowledgeable presentation.
Thursday 27th May Juan Corrin - Magician of Mann
Our first club night back on Thursday 27th May, after our third lockdown, was certainly a magical night. We welcomed Juan Corrin, Magician of Mann, who gave a spectacular
performance of magic tricks. We were all dumbfounded by his sleight of hands and could not work out how he made objects disappear and reappear ‘just like that!’. Great fun was
had, and he included members of the audience in his performance. David was quite concerned as he watched his £20 note go up in smoke only to turn up in a fresh banana! Perhaps
his greatest trick was getting Maureen to cluck like a hen to produce an egg! But how he managed to produce a dozen wine bottles from two cylinders was beyond us all. Even Ed
Kelly, who is an erstwhile Magician of Mann himself, admitted that he couldn’t work out how he did his tricks. Juan certainly wowed us all and we look forward to inviting him
March - April 2021 - No meetings due to Covid 19 lockdown
Thursday 11th February - Charles Guard – The Curiosities of the Isle of Man
Our first stroke club meeting, following the second Covid-19 lockdown, was held on Thursday 11th February 2021. We were fortunate to welcome Charles Guard, MBE, to speak to us.
His talk was based on the video he made some fifteen years ago about the curiosities in the Isle of Man and it was illustrated with clips from the video. We heard about the
eccentric bank vault at Bridge House in Castletown designed by George Quayle in 1802 that had been locked away for almost 200 years until the 1940’s when an aircrew billeted in
Bridge House found a way in! We had views of the underground tunnels in Laxey below the washing floors. Their purpose was to drain the water away. These were uncovered during the
renovation and reinstalment of the Lady Evelyn wheel. From there we were back in the South at Malew churchyard where there is a grave, dating back to 1854, that is covered in
chains. The mystery is Why the chains? A far-flung theory was that it had something to do with vampires!
Back up in the North is a cottage with a large green hand on the gate
pillar. This is a cast of the right hand of Arthur Caley, the Manx giant. He was 7ft 11! He left the Isle of Man in his twenties to go first to Manchester and then Paris where
he apparently ‘died’. However, he reappeared in America where he worked in Branham and Bailey’s Circus! Up until the 1970’s, the top floor of The Old Courthouse in Douglas was
used as a remand home for children. The graffiti on the walls showed that it was not a pleasant stay. From here we followed Charles down under the road at the bottom of
Crellin’s Hill to view the Victorian sewer system. It was quite a rigorous safety routine for Charles and his photographer to go down there, but the video showed the clever
engineering of 100 years ago. From here we were taken to the Gaiety Theatre to see the ingenious workings of the Corsican trap – a complex trap that slowly lifts the actor up
and across the stage – very spooky! Mr Guard gave us a fascinating tour of the curiosities of the Isle of Man which was appreciated by all.
January 2021 - No meetings due to Covid 19 lockdown
Christmas Lunch - Thursday 10th December
On 10th December 2020, we held our Christmas celebration at the Hawthorn Inn but at lunch time instead of evening as in previous years. This proved quite popular as there were no worries about
going out in the cold dark night. Forty members and friends enjoyed a tasty meal and the room buzzed with conversation. The special raffle raised £178 for the Foundation’s funds and many prizes
were won. We were truly fortunate to end our club year with such a lovely occasion.
Thursday 12th November - Musical evening
Members were treated to an excellent evening of musical entertainment on 12th November 2020. Jane Corkill and Paul Costain returned to sing for us and brought with them Ruth Tickle and John
Snelling. Jill Collins accompanied them on the piano. Paul began the evening with ‘If I can help somebody’ - a very appropriate song considering the pandemic happening around us. Jane then
joined Paul for a duet of ‘Serenade’. Jane followed this with ‘We’ll Gather Lilacs’ which is relevant to this time of remembrance. Then Ruth and Jane sang Offenbach’s ‘Night of Stars’. Ruth
then sang ‘Song to the Seals’. It was then John’s turn for a duet with Ruth. They gave us a lively and very entertaining rendition of Papageno from the Magic Flute. The mood changed yet
again with John’s performance of ‘I have Dreamed’ from the musical ‘The King and I’. But we were all giggling shortly after when Paul and Jane sang the amusing American folksong ‘Boll
Weevil’. Thanks to the BA advert, we all recognised the ‘Flower Duet’ beautifully sung by Ruth and Jane. This wonderful concert concluded with two quartets – the first from ‘The Mikado’
and, finally, ‘You Raise Me Up’. A fitting end, as all of us were certainly lifted out of our cares by such a wonderful programme.
26th November - Sandy Moore from the Manx Hedgehog Conservation Society
Sandy Moore from the Manx Hedgehogs Conservation Society (MHCS) gave us a fascinating and informative talk on her work caring for and protecting hedgehogs on the Isle of Man. Hedgehogs are
considered the gardener’s friend as they help to control garden pests but there are many things that endanger them. Sandy has spent many years campaigning to have slug pellets containing
metaldehyde banned as these have a devastating effect on hedgehogs and birds that eat the slugs. Hedgehogs like to nest in leaf piles, compost heaps and overgrown patches so careless use of
forks, strimmers or lit bonfires can mutilate or kill them. Litter is also a problem especially things like crisp packets as the hedgehogs will crawl in but cannot get out and often die. The
MHCS gets lots of calls from people who find poorly, young, or mutilated hedgehogs and there are many foster carers on the island who will care for them. We were delighted that she had with
her two hedgehogs to show us. There were many questions from the members and it seems all were impressed with Sandy’s work and a lot more aware of what each of us can do to save the
Thursday 8th October Zoe Cannell – the Manx Bard
On Thursday 8th October2020, we were all delighted to assemble again following a long break due to coronavirus. We were even more delighted to welcome Zoe Cannell, the Manx Bard.
Zoe provided us with a gentle, nostalgic evening. She came along in her Bard’s robe – a beautiful costume of green and gold and of course the fetching, matching hat. We were familiar with most of
the spoken verses which included Wordworth’s ‘Daffodils’, T. S. Elliot’s ‘Mystery Cat, Macavity’, Masefield’s ‘Sea Fever’, ‘To Autumn’ by Keats and ‘Disobedience’ by A. A. Milne. We were transported
back to our childhoods with ‘The Owl and the Pussy Cat’, ‘The King’s Breakfast’ and ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’.
During lockdown (at the height of the pandemic), Zoe wrote a poem entitled ‘The Food Parcel’ - very appropriate for the time. The finale of this delightful evening was one of Pam Ayres poems ‘Oh
I wish I’d looked after my teeth’ – amusing as always!
The position of Manx Bard is sought after by many local poets and famously ‘T E Brown was the first. To follow in his footsteps must make Zoe so proud and she is certainly living up to her position.
We thank her for reciting to us on our club night.
Thursday 22nd October - Lunch at the Comis, Mount Murray
The Comis Hotel, Mount Murray, was the venue for the stroke club outing on 22nd October 2020. Twenty-eight members tucked into a Halloween lunch with a choice of shepherds’ pie or hotpot as
a main, and apple crumble or sticky toffee pudding as dessert. We enjoyed luxury surroundings with lovely views of the golf course, lake and hills. Only two members took up the offer of
coming in costume so there was no difficulty deciding the two winners for best costume – these being Lee Ann and Penny. We even had reason to celebrate a member’s 80th birthday presenting
them with a lovely cake made by Enid. All in all, a very successful outing was had by everyone.
20th February - Theatre outing to Sound of Music
Some twenty members and friends took the opportunity of a night out at the Gaiety Theatre on Thursday 20th February to see the Sound of Music. We were given a real treat. The music,
the singing and the acting was worthy of the West End Theatres and would probably give them a run for their money! The clever set changes transported us, seamlessly, from mountains
to cloisters and then to mansions. An excellent evening of entertainment and all went home happy and, probably, humming a tune or two!
27th February - Simon Smart: Wildflowers
On Thursday 27th February 2020, we welcomed Simon Smart who gave us an illustrated talk about wildflowers on the Isle of Man. He has a website ManxWildflowers.com. Simon began with
the delights of foraging. Many of our native plants are suitable for eating. There are examples that we are all aware of, such as, water mint, wild garlic and plantain. However, it
was stressed that good knowledge was imperative. The following plants are highly dangerous if ingested: deadly nightshade, foxglove and hemlock. Simon’s talk was full of interesting
facts about plants used in folklore and medicine: valerian being a sedative, yarrow an astringent and meadowsweet a pain killer. He continued on a magical note and fairy plants
are common as are fairies themselves. The Hawthorn is indeed a fairy tree and red campion and daffodils are fairy flowers. Some species of wildflowers are rare and special and
naturally protected. Among these are purple milk vetch, greater spearwort, sea holly and monkey flower. Simon has published a book on wildflower Walks which he brought a long for
us to buy. An offer many took up! The evening was educational and interesting. We are all awaiting the blooming of our bluebells, buttercups and daisies so roll on summer days and
9th January - Wiltshire farm foods
On our first meeting of 2020 we welcomed Janette Heath from Wiltshire Farm foods. She gave us some
‘food for thought’ with her wonderful talk. Wiltshire Farm Foods are inspirational providing all the nutrients expected in home cooking. As well as the main courses there are also
lovely desserts and special diet meals. Delivery is free and comes with a cheery smile and friendly face. The beauty of these foods is that meals are ordered by you as required.
Ingredients are environmentally friendly and new recipes are being introduced all the time. The choice is vast and feedback from customers is encouraged. The Queen’s Award has been
presented to Wiltshire Foods for enterprise and sustainable development 2019. Janette is an enthusiastic member of Wiltshire Farm Foods and is so caring with regards to looking after
the members of society who are struggling. Our members were inspired and there is no doubt that orders will be made for some delicious meals. We did have a small taste and were
assured that on a return visit there will be more. We thanked Janette for her talk.
23rd January - Bingo Night
It was Bingo Night again on 23rd January with plenty of fun and a chance to socialise. Laughter abounded, at times drowning out the
numbers called, but we don’t take things too seriously so no matter! Jane and David comprised a double act and with no rehearsal they probably earned a worthy 9 out of 10 as callers.
There were plenty of chocolates and sweets as prizes (all well received). At the interval, the usual refreshments were served and later the raffle was held. Everyone in attendance
agreed that they had really enjoyed Bingo night – what fun!
12th December - Christmas Outing
On 12th December 2019 we held our Christmas Outing once again at the Hawthorn Inn in Greeba. Forty-five of us enjoyed a
delicious festive meal and sumptuous desserts. Everyone got into celebration mode and the room was buzzing with conversation as people caught up with old friends and made new ones. The
staff at the Hawthorn were very attentive and ensured we were all well looked after. Les gave a short speech and we took a moment to remember those who were no longer with us. The evening
closed with the special raffle, which raised £209, and many of us went home with some lovely gifts. It was a very fitting end to our stroke club programme for 2019.
14th November The Food Bank
The Food Bank was the subject matter for our talk on Thursday 14th November 2019. We were pleased to
welcome Neil Mellon who was instrumental in setting up the Food Bank. Initially it was thought that there would not be great need for such a service on the Island, but this was
proved wrong. Year on year the numbers of families using the food bank has grown. Referrals come from various sources such as social services and there are criteria for acceptance
to the scheme. There are many reasons why people find themselves in a position where they cannot feed themselves and any one of us could find ourselves in the same position. However,
the help given is seen as a hand-up and not a hand-out and the aim is to help people out of their difficult situation. The general public donate items to the Food Bank and, on this
occasion, instead of holding a raffle we asked people to bring something for the Food Bank. The members were very generous, and it took a few trips to the car to load all the
donations! We thanked Neil for a very interesting and thought-provoking talk.
28th November - Mycheilley choir
On Thursday 28th November 2019 we welcomed Mycheilley choir to our stroke club. They gave us a wonderful, Christmas themed
concert of carols and songs, old and new. The concert began with their version of ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ with some wonderful harmonies and continued with ‘Mary did you Know’ and
‘Angel Gabriel’. Their soloist Claire Walker then sang ‘In a Stable’ and ‘On a Starry Night’. Although the choir is a ladies’ choir, they brought along Paul Costain who gave
wonderful renditions of ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ and ‘Little Road to Bethlehem’. The audience was then given the opportunity to sing along with their favourite Carols. The final selection
was ‘The Virgin’s Slumber song’, ‘Sing Alleluia, ‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire’ and finishing with ‘The Christmas Blessing’. Their beautiful voices filled the room with song
and harmonies. We sincerely hope they will come to entertain us again.
10th October - Harry Owens: Bee Keeping in Burundi
Mr Harry Owens came along to our club on Thursday 10th October 2019 to give a talk on
bee keeping and his charity work. Harry is an 83-year-old, gentleman who is dedicated to his passion and sharing his knowledge with the less fortunate. Having kept bees for 50 years
he travelled to Burundi to teach them the art of bee keeping. Burundi is just below the equator in Africa and has a population of 11 million people. The people are friendly and
hospitable but very poor. They were very eager to learn how to improve their bee keeping industry so that they could better provide for their families. Production of honey is
difficult and complex but who better to advise than Harry? He was able to advise on suitable hives and protective clothing. Sewing machines were provided by the Women’s Institute
and a local couple were able to make perfect copies of the clothing and veils needed for protection. Harry gave us an interesting and inspiring talk and there were many questions
about his charity work and travels. We thank him and wish him well should he visit Burundi again.
24th October - Halloween Supper
Our Halloween (or Hop Tu Naa) supper on 24th October was once again a great success. Thirty-five members tucked into a grand
hotpot provided by Ken of Niarbyl Catering. The meal also included peas, red cabbage and beetroot and finished with a choice of dessert. Several members were in fancy dress and two
prizes were awarded for the most inspirational ones. We are happy to announce that no ghosts, ghouls, spiders or any other supernatural beings came along – but maybe they were
waiting for the 31st! Ken was thanked and applauded and all went on their way sufficiently nourished – grasping our doggy bags.
12th September - Afternoon tea at Bradda Glen
For our September outing on 12th September 2019 the Bradda Glen Café was chosen. It has been recently decorated and was fresh and spotless. The tables were laid with sandwiches,
scones with cream and jam, and homemade cakes. Bowls of sausages were brought to each table. Everything looked so delightful and tasted delicious. Thirty-five members attended and
unanimously voted 10 out of 10 for a wonderful afternoon tea. Our hosts were attentive and very pleasant, and we hope to return in the not too distant future.
Well done ‘the Bradda Glen Café’.
26th September - Lon Vane Ladies Choir
On 26th September 2019, we were, as always, happy to welcome the Lon Vane Ladies Choir who give us so much pleasure. An
eclectic programme had been produced and the singing was wonderful. Despite heavy rain, the ladies won the fight to be heard! Their songs for the evening included ‘With a voice of
singing’, ‘Carrick Fergus’ and ‘Peace like a River’ and a solo in Manx by Christine Bregazzi – ‘Graih Foalsa’. We also enjoyed ‘Bayushki Bay’, ‘Away from the roll of the Sea’ and
the ‘Seal Lullaby’. Becky read a Manx language piece and Peta read her own prose to music – ‘Child of the Springtime’. An amusing duet of ‘We’re a Couple of Swells’, by the two Vals,
provided a lighter air. A sweet and gentle finale of ‘Perhaps Love’, ‘Amen’ and ‘The Clare Benediction’ ended the concert. A joyous evening concluded with the usual raffle and
refreshments. We thank the Lon Vane choir for entertaining us once again.
8th August - Beetle Drive
On Thursday 8th August 2019, Marjory Kelly organised a Beetle Drive for our club night. Rules were clearly
explained to all those new to the game but amongst all the clamour to build our beetles these were soon forgotten! We were very competitive, and dice were flying all over, causing
much laughter and frivolity! Prizes were awarded to those with the most points, refreshments enjoyed, and the usual raffle drawn. Taxis arrived and all were homeward bound. We thank
Marjorie for her time, hard work and patience and hope she will organise another evening of fun such as this!
11th July -Onchan Entertainers
Our stroke club welcomed the Onchan Entertainers on Thursday 25th July. Doreen Callister brought along eight
beautiful and very cute young ladies -the youngest was only three years old. They were dressed in pretty pink and white costumes all made by Doreen herself. A short programme of
dances was performed for our enjoyment. It is always a delight for us to see the children’s talent and enthusiasm. In November a medal will be awarded to each child and the MSF logo
will be included on the medal. We have been promised that a more mature troupe of Doreen’s girls will perform for us in the future. We certainly look forward to this. But in the
meantime, our thanks go to the little ones for a lovely evening’s entertainment.
25th July - Chair exercises with Roy Wilson
On a very humid, sticky evening on 25th July 2019 we entered into our exercise regime with great enthusiasm. Roy
Wilson is an expert teacher with a lovely sense of humour. Always keen to improve our flexibility we mopped our sweaty brows and surged on. From time to time we needed to be
reprimanded but we can be quite disruptive if not controlled, Roy remained calm and gently encouraged us. We had such fun with plenty of laughter and giggles. It can’t have been an
easy task for Roy, but he handled us well. We give our thanks to him for helping us to remain fit and active. We hope to repeat this wonderful evening in the future.
13th June - The Regal Singers
Thursday 13th June was ‘A Grand Night for Singing’ as we welcomed the Regal Singers once again, with Alan Wilcox in the director’s seat and Wendy McDowell accompanying them. Their
wonderful harmonies took us through many old favourites including ‘June is Busting out all Over’, ‘We’ll gather Lilacs’, ‘The Way You Look Tonight’, and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
The soloists gave lovely renditions of a range of songs: Kath Shooter sang ‘Getting to Know you’ from The King and I, Arthur Cowley sang a collection of Guy Mitchell songs, arranged by
Wendy and Harry Galbraith amused us with Flanders and Swann’s ‘The Sloth Song’. To mark D-Day we were given a moving performance of ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’. The final arrangement
was a selection of songs from the musical ‘Oliver’. A very enjoyable evening was had by all.
27th June - Life at the Wildlife Park Kathleen Graham
On Thursday 27th June we were given an insight into life at the Wildlife Park by Manager, Kathleen Graham.
Kathleen was both passionate and eloquent, painting us a wonderful picture of the Park. There are about 3.000 visits by children each year giving them a healthy day out whilst
instilling in them the importance of conservation and nature. A network of 600 zoos work together in breeding programmes and the placement of animals. The Park engages with the
community and volunteers who involve themselves in various projects around the park. Each year, ‘Wild Academy’ takes 15 children for one week educating them as they work with the
animals and instilling in them a sense of responsibility and duty whilst having fun. Standards are always being improved and the welfare of the animals is paramount. This year saw
the reward of four Humble penguin chicks hatching out. Kathleen took the opportunity to make us aware of the threat of deforestation (which has a devastating effect on animals) to
provide palm oil which is contained in much of our food. Kathleen has been involved with animals and conservation for many years and her enthusiasm rubbed off on all of us. It is
important that we care for our Earth and its animals. The talk was illustrated throughout with lovely slides of penguins and their chicks, red pandas, silvery gibbons and many
others. The meercats are a favourite of all and, thankfully, they are not endangered. We will all see the Park in a different light following this enlightening talk.
9th May - Coming soon!
23rd May - Jane Corkill and Paul Costain
On Thursday 23rd May 2019 Jane Corkill and Paul Costain delighted us again with a fine selection of songs. They were accompanied by Marion Kissack on the piano and thanks go to her for
stepping up at the last minute. Paul started the evening with ‘The Manx Wedding’ followed by Jane singing ‘The Manx Crofter’. Jane introduced us to a touching song of a boy and girl and a
kiss under the lilac tree – a song she learnt, as a young girl, from her grandmother. We enjoyed two Scottish songs and joined in heartily with ‘I’ll take the high road and you’ll take the
low road’ and ‘We’ll Gather Lilac’. Then Paul gave us a powerful and moving rendition of ‘Old Man River’. Another powerful song, loved by all, was ‘If I can help somebody’. Jane then gave
us a lovely and unusual arrangement of ‘Summertime’. The evening concluded with a bit of fun – a little ditty of the ‘Boll Weaver’ – new to us all but acted out with such style! What a
great evening’s entertainment we had as we always do when Jane and Paul join us.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 11th April
On Thursday 11th April 2019 we held our 22nd Annual General Meeting. There was a good turn out with forty members attending along with the
committee and the President, Dr Khuraijam. The meeting was opened by Jane Bridge, our chair person, who was pleased to inform the meeting
that Dr Khuraijam had agreed to continue in his role as President. Dr Khuraijam then gave the opening address telling us about the various
conferences he has attended where he has been able to inform people in far flung places about the Manx Stroke Foundation. Our new treasurer
Ewa was introduced to everyone and Irene was presented with a bouquet of flowers as recognition of her hard work and dedication during her
years as treasurer.
Following the business, the members enjoyed light refreshments and the opportunity to chat and get to know everyone.
Afternoon Tea - 25th April
The Port St Mary Pavilion was the venue for our Spring outing on 25th April 2019. We were fortunate with the weather – a bright, sunny afternoon which was not too cold. Twenty-eight members
enjoyed a selection of sandwiches and cakes and, of course, the opportunity to sit and chat with old and new friends. The afternoon outings are so important for those who cannot come to the
evening club meetings. We are very grateful to Peter Brew who drives the mini-bus and takes those who would otherwise have difficulty getting to the venue.
14th March Eljo’s Friends
Eljo’s friends, a group of young people originally from the Philippines, gave us an amazing evening’s entertainment. As they sang and danced for us, the joy shone in their faces. Several of
the group had travelled from England to be with us on the night. It was fun to join in with them singing and signing the well-known actions of YMCA. An extremely clever and well thought out
game was enjoyed by all our members as we tried to guess an object by feel alone! Prizes were awarded to the winning team and then supper was served – provided by the group. After supper
we were presented with ‘goody bags’ followed by more singing and dancing and Karaoke. We had been charmed by these delightful guests. We were entertained in great style having not known
what to expect. A fun evening was enjoyed by all our members.
28th March - BINGO!
We were unable to secure a speaker for the night of 28th March 2019, so Bingo was suggested and approved. Twenty members attended including
Dr Khuraijam and his wife Mema. Self-confessed ‘Bingo virgins’ the couple were thrown in at the deep end and enjoyed the game immensely. Jane was our dedicated caller and having
searched the internet has become adept at the phrases which accompany the numbers. Chocolate, lots of it, was given as prizes – no regard for out health or weight but who doesn’t
like chocolate? It was a sociable and fun gathering with plenty of laughter and banter. We concluded the evening with refreshments and a raffle. The night was so successful that it
will probably repeated at a later date!
14th February Rosemary Clarke
Rosemary Clarke is a member of the ‘Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel’ (EAPPI). She spent three months as a volunteer in Palestine. On
Thursday 14th February 2019 she gave us a sensitive but disturbing overview of troubles in the Middle east. Her role was to help the people in and around Yatta with their security
and fears. There is the constant fear that the farmers in their community will have their land taken from them. The Israeli army can be ruthless. Rosemary recounted a story of a
new Palestinian school which was ransacked and had all the equipment taken. The Geneva Convention states that education is of paramount importance and must be protected. Clearly this
goes against the convention.
Sadly, there has been trouble in the area since biblical times and there appears to be no solution to the problem.
The programme (EAPPI) is run by various churches and the volunteers have a three month stay. They can be in real danger but their presence as eyewitnesses can help protect these vulnerable
communities. We thank Rosemary for her talk which was very thought provoking and encouraged much discussion and questions. We were left with much to ponder.
28th February - Marc Furness
Our Club Night on February 28th comprised a visit and presentation by Marc Furness, Advocate and Commissioner for Oaths attached to local law firm Callin Wild of Athol Street. Marc has a
special interest in the preparation of Wills and Enduring Power of Attorney, about both of which he spoke to us at some length. By his own admission, Marc was surprised at the small number
of our members who have not arranged the latter point, stressing the importance of making such arrangements “while we are able to”.
He was also able to make a very generous offer of a reduction in his fee for any member taking advantage of preparing their Will following his talk.
Marc can be contacted at Callin Wild on 623195 by mentioning the Manx Stroke Foundation.
NEW YEAR SUPPER Thursday 10th January
Our New Year get together was attended by thirty members and, also, our Treasurer elect Ewa
Kubisty and her husband Bob. A very delicious buffet was provided by Margaret and Jane (via Tesco and M&S) and we all tucked in to pasties, sausage rolls, gourmet sandwiches,
pork pies and high-calorie cakes (yummy). After the usual raffle, Ewa was introduced to the members. Then Jane presented Irene with a gift of a hand-turned and engraved wooden bowl
made by a local craftsman. Jane thanked her for her hard work and dedication to the Manx Stroke Foundation over the years as Treasurer and previously as secretary. No rest for her
though as she remains on the committee. A good start to 2019!
24th January LON DHOO CHOIR
A male voice choir is always hard to beat, and Lon Dhoo is no exception. We had the privilege of welcoming them to our club night on
24th January 2019 after a three-year absence. How smart they looked in their grey jackets and red ties. Accompanied by Wendy and Regina on the piano they gave us a magical evening
with a variety of songs both serious and amusing.
To open the concert, they sang ‘Some Enchanted Evening’, ‘Speed your Journey’ and ‘Silver Trumpet’ then Geoff Christian’s solo ‘Passing By’. This was followed by ‘There is Nothing Like a
Dame’ (sung with great enthusiasm). ‘Bring Him Home’ and ‘Hear the People Sing’. Soloist Arthur gave us a clever and funny rendition of ‘DIY’ (never heard before even by his choir!). The
choir then sang ‘Let it Be’, ‘I Believe’ and ‘Shepherd’ after which Gary Corkill delivered ‘Oh what a Beautiful Morning’ beautifully, leading on to a wonderful finale of ‘In the Twilight’,
‘Peace on Earth’ and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
A fitting end to a fantastic night. Thank you to the Lon Dhoo Choir.
CHRISTMAS MEAL 13th December
Our Christmas dinner in Thursday 13th December 2018 was a return to the Hawthorn Inn. As previously it
was a resounding success. Menus were circulated beforehand, meals chosen and paid for in advance. In total fifty five members were booked but, sadly, due to illness, there were
several people who could not attend. The Hawthorn staff were pleasant and attentive, and the food was excellent. Each member was given a small gift of chocolates but no sign of
Father Christmas! A raffle was held with many varied prizes, one being a beautiful Christmas cake kindly donated by Shaun Budd’s sister. The raffle boosted the Foundation funds by
£232. The evening was enjoyed by all and taxis and cars delivered us home safely.
8th November Brenda Kinnish – The Salvation Army
On the 8th November a lively and informative talk was given by Brenda Kinnish who had, in her 68 years of service
with the Salvation Army, witnessed both the worst and best of life. She, her mother and her husband had dedicated all their time to the organisation. The Salvation Army began in 1868 when William Booth, a church
minister, inspired by his son, saw a greater need. The phrase ‘feed them first and then they will see the love of God’ was an important concept for them and still is now. Since the 1800’s the Salvation Army has
grown into a worldwide organisation covering 130 countries. Volunteers are present at all disasters alongside the emergency services. They provide practical help and, importantly, a kind word. Amongst their many
roles are missing persons, education, employment, NVQ training, HIV clinics, and every aspect of care for people who have lost their way in life. Never judging but always caring. ‘FOR GOD’S SAKE HELP’ is another
Even having faced some shocking events and, also, being a chaplain in a prison for sex offenders Brenda has retained a sense of humour. We laughed at some of Brenda’s stories – one example being a request for clothing
from a homeless man. He was wearing a long coat and the ladies asked what items of clothing he required. When asked he replied ‘everything’ opening his coat to reveal his naked body! Another story was of a client’s
funeral where ‘Oh Happy Days’ was the chosen song! There were, however, other stories that brought tears to our eyes.
Brenda told us many stories and facts of success over the years. One important fact from the early days was the Salvation Army’s involvement in a change of law, called ‘Maiden’s Tribute’, when the age of consent was
increased from twelve years to sixteen. A wonderful evening was enjoyed by our members and we hope that Brenda will share more memories with us at a later date.
11th October Bingo!
Those who turned up on 11th October 2018 expecting an interesting talk were surprised to find they were in for a night of BINGO! Unfortunately,
our intended speaker was unable to come but our resourceful committee managed to give members a fun night with lots of laughter. Our chair person, Jane, took on the role of caller and kept up a steady pace. You
could say she has found a new vocation! Prizes were eagerly sought after, but the Santon Stealers and the Denver/Kissack partnership managed to rack in all the chocolates! All in all, the evening may have started
with a little disappointment but ended with high spirits and some members were initiated into the game of BINGO! This is something we will have to do again.
25th October Halloween Supper
Undaunted by possible sightings of any ghosts, ghouls, vampires or ‘the undead’ thirty of our members sat down to a hearty hotpot. This included red cabbage
and beetroot followed by a choice of three desserts, tea and coffee.Ken and his assistant (Niarbyl Catering) provided our meal. The evening was very much enjoyed – a real social event. A prize was awarded for
the best fancy dress and then we all returned home safely, both warmed and well fed.
13th September Afternoon Tea at Milntown
Our late summer outing on 13th September took place at Milntown, Ramsey for afternoon tea. Fortunately, the weather stayed
dry and bright for those who took the opportunity to venture into the wonderful gardens. These gardens are beautifully tended with an amazing variety of flowers, foliage, fruit and vegetables but over such a vast
area that most of us only saw a part of them. The highlight, of course, was the wonderful spread put on for us. There was a variety of sandwiches and tiers of scones, flapjacks, chocolate cakes and meringues.
We all had our fill and there was still enough for us to go home with doggy bags! Another very successful outing was enjoyed by all and well worth another visit!
27th September Chief Constable Gary Roberts
On 27th September 2018 Chief Constable Gary Roberts shared his vast knowledge of policing in the Isle of Man. He has worked in the force for 34
years and has risen through the ranks to his position as Chief Constable. He is very proud of the young men and women in the Manx force – young, enthusiastic and dedicated people. Gary gave us some interesting
history and comparisons of how the force, laws and crimes have changed since the early days. The first Chief Constable in the 1860’s was, in fact, an MHK but, since then, Gary is the only other Manxman to be
given the rank of Chief Constable. It wasn’t until 1968 that the first policewoman was enrolled onto the force. There has always been trouble with alcohol related crimes and there has been no change there.
laws have increased by 100% and there is a vast amount of paperwork. The Human Rights Act was passed in 2001 bringing with it increased pressures. With the advent of social media, DNA testing and information
technology huge advances have been made in detection of crime. However social media and IT also bring problems with drug related crimes and child pornography at the fore.
Sadly, in today’s climate, mental health issues have increased and often fall on the shoulders of our police. Mental health professionals now work alongside the police to help deal with these issues. There is now a
forensic laboratory in Douglas, CCTV cameras throughout the town and the means to make sophisticated reconstruction of road traffic incidences. The advances in all these areas is amazing and Gary is very proud of his
young force which includes the ‘specials’. We feel very lucky to be here on our island where, in spite of lack of manpower, our crime rate has actually reduced. We are very grateful to the Chief Constable for an
impressive and interesting talk.
9th August Mike Buttell ‘The End of the Line’
On Thursday August 9th Mike Buttell gave us an interesting and nostalgic presentation entitled ‘The End of the Line’
(fifty years ago). Mike hails from a family of train engineers and enthusiasts and he admits that nothing rivals this, his first love. With some wonderful slides we were taken on a journey from Douglas to Peel
and Ramsey. Our club members had many happy memories of travelling on these trains. Names synonymous with the era are ‘Fenella’, ‘Caledonia’ and ‘Mona’. The stations are now unrecognizable to us although remnants
still remain in places. The TT access road has now replaced the line to Peel and Peel station is now a car park. One outstanding slide was of a four-carriage train chugging its way alongside the sea in brilliant
sunlight heading for Ramsey. St John’s was the interchange station for Peel and Ramsey. It must have been a wonderful experience with the hustle and bustle and all the varying livery colours and the smell of
steam (familiar to us all). Time marches on but memories of a time past are still treasured and our members were transported back to their youth. Mike told us an interesting story of the two football
teams Peel and Ramsey. Following the Cup match at the Bowl there was a race between the two trains taking the teams home – plenty of fun must have been had and it ended up with the Cup finding its way on the
wrong train! Apparently it was returned to the winners the next day! A celebration of the fifty years since the line closed has taken place with enthusiasts putting on an extravagant exhibition but probably
feeling a little sadness too.
12th July Manx Wildlife Trust
On Thursday 12th July 2018 Dawn Dickens gave a talk about the Manx Wildlife Trust. If we hadn’t already been interested in our Island’s
wildlife then Dawn certainly inspired us. Dawn was fun and full of beans. Her enthusiasm was such that we became as excited as herself. The Manx Wildlife Trust began in 1974 and covers 300 acres. Their concerns
are many: there is a shortage of peat bogs, the sand dunes are being eroded and then there is the ever-present climate change. We are losing wild flowers because of a shortage of good meadows. Butterflies are
becoming fewer and fewer and some species are moving north. However, the Manx Wildlife Trust is doing sterling work in order to right the wrongs. There are twenty-four reserves on the Island and awareness of
these is increasing, especially in the schools. At Ballacurry we have reed beds, at the Crossags bluebells, at Dalby cotton grass. At Ramsey there is a forest scheme and now there is wonderful seed bank to
preserve flowers for the future. Marine work is another important feature and scallop fishing is now controlled. An excellent picture is being built up of marine life and there is seal survey constantly being
executed. The evening was fun and educational. We had samples to pass around including an owl’s wing, feathers and skeletons. Questions to Dawn were many and varied and we all enjoyed the evening.
26th July Peter Cain Douglas Lifeboat Service
On Thursday 26th July 2018 Peter Cain came to our club night to present a talk on the RNLI and Douglas Lifeboat Service. Peter is the chairman
of the managers and President of the Douglas Lifeboat Service. Peter’s father was heavily involved in the RNLI so it is very close to his heart. Peter also has the lifeboat crew to thank when, many years ago, he
was himself rescued. As we are all aware, the Irish sea can be unforgiving and in the worst conditions any boat can easily find itself in trouble. On the night of the Solway Harvester disaster there were 17
lifeboats out and no debris or survivors could be located. This event was a tragic loss of life. Fortunately, many rescues are successful and many lives have been saved. Currently, the crew of the Douglas
lifeboat consists of bankers, accountants, doctors and ladies (not a job for the faint hearted). The cost of running this wonderful service is £175 million a year with no funding from the Government. Amazing!
In two years’ time the boathouse will be replaced by a state of the art visitor centre, mechanics workshop, crew room and room for storage of the crew’s equipment. All this and a brand-new lifeboat. It is an
exciting time for the Douglas RNLI as the new boat will travel twice as fast as the present one. She has a water jet, weighs 17 tons, 10 tons lighter than the William Hillary and is costing £2.2 million. In
1988, when the William Hillary was purchased, the cost was £500 thousand. For now, the name of the new boat is being kept under wraps. This will be the first time a boat will be retrieved into the boat house bow first
as opposed to stern first. Peter’s talk was both interesting and informative and we thank him for his time. He has left us wondering what the new lifeboat will be named!
14th June Gillian Horsey Stroke Specialist Nurse
On the 14th June Jill Horsey,
Specialist Stroke Nurse, gave us a reassuring talk on the improvements instroke care on the Island. The important news
was the introduction of thrombolysis – the administering of a clot-busting drug. This, in suitable cases, is now
available on a 24/7 basis. There are six trained nurses and also the support of Dr Thomas and out of hours
telemedicine from the Royal Liverpool hospital. This treatment has been eagerly awaited and has good results. The loss
of Ward 20 was a severe blow to the stroke unit but there will, in time, be a new dedicated stroke ward and
rehabilitation unit on the ground floor of Nobles Hospital. There will be access to outside space to help with all
aspects of stroke. Jill is also in the process of developing the ‘early supported discharge’ scheme where people are
supported and treated at home and discharged from hospital sooner. It is proven that patients respond better in their
own homes. Long stays in hospital can lead to depression and difficulty when finally discharged home. Jill is
implementing consultation with patients and families and is keen to have as much feedback as possible and knowing
their feelings and needs can only help. Things are looking positive as stroke care moves forward and treatment is
available on a twenty-four hour basis seven days a week. We are grateful to Jill for her talk and all she does to
ensure the best possible care for those affected by stroke
28th June Musicale
We enjoyed a concert by Musicale on 28th June 2018 – a year since they had last entertained us. They presented us with a lovely, mixed programme of song and poetry
accompanied on the piano by John Riley. ‘It’s a Grand Night for Singing’ broke the silence and ‘Close to You’ and ‘Loves old sweet song’ followed. Then we heard ‘Fields of Gold’ and ‘You that I Worship So’. A
tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber was wonderful and included ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Everything is alright’, ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’, ‘Memories’, and ‘Love Changes Everything’. We were soothed by
‘Benedictus’ and ‘Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind’. ‘A Chorus Line’ stirred us up and started the feet tapping – but no room dance – next time perhaps! But then we were calmed by the Manx slumber song. What a varied
performance we were having! Musicale not only have beautiful singing voices but they also recite some amusing verses. Another night to remember and we look forward to their return soon.
10th May Afternoon Tea at the Pavilion, Port St Mary
On Thursday 10th May 2018
we had an outing to the Pavilion at the Port St Mary golf club for afternoon tea.
We always seem to be blessed with good weather on our outings. This day was no exception. Transport was again provided for
members who would otherwise struggle to attend. Thirty-three members enjoyed a tasty spread with variety of sandwiches, cakes
and pastries. It was a pleasure to meet up with those we haven’t seen for a while and find out all their latest news.
Once again, the afternoon was a great success and even the hard-working staff said how much they had enjoyed having us there.
A good day all round!
24th May Jane Corkill, Paul Costain and Eleanor Shimmin
After initial disappointment at hearing of a change in the programme because Jane Corkill was unable to bring her pupils along, we
were given a lovely surprise. Jane was accompanied by Eleanor Shimmin, pianist, and singer Paul Costain. Paul, who is this year’s Cleveland medal winner, and Jane, who herself has a wonderful voice, gave us a
memorable evening of song accompanied by Eleanor who has entertained us many times in the past. Jane opened with ’We’ll Gather Lilacs’ and ‘La Via Rosa’. A superb start! Paul followed with ‘Deep River’ and ‘Old
Man River’ from Showboat. Amazing songs for his deep powerful voice. Paul and Jane then duetted with ‘Sous Les Etoiles’ and ‘Serenata’. Eleanor wowed us with her piano piece ‘To a Wild Rose’. Paul returned with
an amusing and rousing rendition of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. His performance was so entertaining and what about those hips! Jane softened the mood with a gentle delivery of ‘Count your Blessings’ and ‘The Bless Us
and Keep Us’ – which was sung at the Royal Wedding. The finale was a very moving song from ‘Phantom of the Opera’ – ‘All I Ask of You’. The evening was outstanding in every respect thanks to Paul, Eleanor and,
of course, Jane.
12th April Dorothy Piper and Puddle Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
We had a very welcome visitor to our stroke club on Thursday 12th April 2018 in the form of Puddle, a
lovely Golden Labrador, who came along with Dot Piper who gave us an interesting and informative talk on Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Dot was in her thirties when she lost her hearing. She worked as a nurse on
a paediatric ward and her increasing loss of hearing made it difficult to continue working on the ward so she retrained as a health visitor. The one to one nature of health visiting meant she was able to
continue her nursing career. Dot explained to us how being deaf is like being outside the world, looking in. You cannot hear or join in conversations; socialising is challenging and it is impossible to join
groups or clubs when you cannot hear what is going on. It can be a lonely and scary existence. Hearing dogs help people back into the hearing world and provide companionship and help to build confidence and
independence. They are trained to respond to important sounds and danger signals and Puddle gave us a good demonstration. When she heard a doorbell she immediately nudged Dot and took her to the source of the
sound, however on hearing the smoke alarm Puddle alerted Dot but lay down on the floor by her – this way signalling that there may be a fire and ensuring Dot does not go towards the danger.
It takes at least
two years and about £45,000 to train dogs and they are matched to their recipients. For example, a child who is deaf cannot hear a parent shouting ‘dinner’s ready’ but the hearing dog can be trained to take
notes to them! Dot gave us an insight into deafness and reminded us that there are things we can do to make life easier: face people when you speak so that they see your lips; let the light fall on your face,
don’t sit with your back to the window; make sure that the person with hearing loss knows that the subject matter of the conversation has changed – give them time to interpret what is being said. Our eyes were
opened to this ‘invisible’ disability and to the tremendous aid that all assistance dogs give their companions.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 26th April
The 21st Annual General Meeting of the Manx Stroke Foundation was held on Thursday 26th April 2018. Our President, Dr Khuraijam, gave the opening address
and informed us that after 12 years as President he felt it was time to stand down and allow another to take over. Our chair, Jane Bridge, spoke for us all when she said how sorry we were to lose him as he had
been such an asset to the Foundation and would be difficult to replace. Jane also thanked all those who help with the running of the Foundation and the stroke club. She announced that after 21 years it was time
to review the stroke club and, in that respect, an open meeting will be held on the afternoon of Monday 23rd July at Corrin Court to discuss the future of the club. It is hoped that as many as possible will
attend. The current committee members were willing to continue and were re-elected:
Chair: Jane Bridge
Vice-chair: Leslie Quayle
Treasurer: Irene Gardner
Secretary: Maureen Redmayne
Committee members: Paul Allinson; Trish Lambert; David Mammen;
Margaret Radcliffe; Sylvia Willis with the addition of Margaret Allinson who was proposed on the night by Leslie Quayle.
Following the business meeting Michell Ferrer, Stroke Association Service
Coordinator gave a short presentation of her role and the service offered.
The evening concluded with light refreshments.
8th March - Judith Ley
We were pleased to welcome Judith Ley to our club night on Thursday 8th March 2018. Judith is known to many, if only by her voice, from her
programmes on Manx Radio. She gave us a wonderful and very funny evening. Judith is not a well-seasoned traveller but since losing her dear parents has been let loose; not without some difficult moments. Not
being aux fait with trains and travelling to York the first problem was – which end of the train should she get on? Was the pointy end the front or the flat end? Panic ensued when the train split, however Judith
had made the correct decision and arrived safely in York by sheer good luck! On another occasion whilst visiting a friend in Liverpool she was confused and alighted at the wrong stop – she was lost. Seeing a
garage nearby she popped in to ask directions to West Derby. She was lucky that the assistant not only knew the address but also Judith’s friend. Another person in the queue said that she was going that way and
gave Judith a lift to the door- another welcome stroke of luck! By her own admission Judith is old fashioned and on a visit to her aunt and niece she was surprised to see her niece sporting two bushy
‘caterpillars’ where her eyebrows should be! On commenting on these she was haughtily told they were the latest fashion and had been ‘threaded’. What is ‘threading’? How would Judith know? After all Judith
is still wearing her Chelsea Girl scarf! It has got to be vintage! Judith’s story-telling had us all enthralled and we sincerely hope she will come back with more of her amusing tales.
22nd March Mycheilley Ladies Choir
Our Stroke Club meeting on 22nd March 2018 was the first time
that Mycheilley Ladies Choir entertained us. Mycheilley (Manx for ‘together’) were quite different from other choirs
and their programme was a wonderful mixture of old and new songs. They also tested our musical ability by distributing
song sheets and encouraging us to join in. We tried our best and it was great fun! Mycheilley’s repertoire was eclectic
and the voices and arrangements were excellent. It was a relaxed and friendly evening. Songs featured:
‘As long as I have music’; ‘Dream a little dream of me’; ‘The Anthem’ from Chess
A Billy Joel song ‘And so it goes’; ‘California Dreaming’; ‘Hush my Baby’;
‘Steal Away’; ‘Lead us Lord’; ‘Sweet Chariot’.
This choir must not be missed when we ask them to return!
8th February Alexandra Slater
On Thursday 8th February 2018, Alexandra Slater once again enthralled us with a wonderful concert. We dedicated the evening to Alexandra’s grandad, Colin. Colin and his late
wife June were much loved members of our stroke club. Sadly, Colin had lost his fight with cancer just a few days earlier. Alexandra, who is only 16, sang the following songs for us: Nella Fantasia; Bring me to
Life; Carol of the Children; Skyfall; Over the Rainbow; I could have Danced all Night; Oh, My Beloved Father; Oh Prio Battinno Caro.
Her Grandad would have been so proud of her amazing performance.
After much applause and begging for an encore Alexandra sang ‘Amazing Grace’ for us. Alexandra always thrills us with her amazing voice.
Outing to Gaiety Theatre - 22nd February 9 to 5; The Musical
On Thursday 22nd February 2018 a group of our members attended the Gaiety Theatre to see ‘9 to 5’ a Dolly Parton musical. Taxis
were provided for those who need transport and the evening proved a great success.
Douglas Choral Union were excellent and compare well with any West End show. A good night was had by all and Jane and Paul came along at 10 pm to ensure everyone was safely in their taxis.
New Year Supper - 11th January
As is now traditional, we began our 2018 club night programme with a New Year supper held on 11th January. Rather than a ‘bring and
share’ supper, as in previous years, this time M&S came up trumps with a lovely selection of sandwiches, sausages, pastries, salad, mince pies, chocolate bites and fruit. There was plenty for everyone and all
enjoyed a convivial evening catching up on all the news. Each table had a go at a ‘Food and Drink’ quiz which caused lots of discussion and merriment - giving an element of education to the evening! For those
who were puzzled about the origin of ‘chicken Marengo’ and its relationship to Napoleon – Marengo was a small town in northern Italy. In June 1800 Napoleon’s troops engaged in battle with Austrian forces. After
winning the battle Napoleon’s chef went scavenging and came back with the ingredients for a Chicken Marengo. All in all, a very enjoyable start to the New Year.
25th January Pat Wiles DO! Developing Orphans Charity
Pat Wiles returned to talk to us on 25th January 2018. The charity DO! Developing Orphans works for the relief of extreme poverty in
Northern Uganda. Pat told us a very powerful story. This story is of the orphans of a shocking war. It was heart-breaking to be shown the conditions that these children survived in. They were hiding in fear,
cold and starving with little shelter. Their little bodies a result of these conditions. The story then took a far more positive turn. With dedicated volunteers, donations from loyal supporters and help from
the Manx Government lives are being transformed.
Over the years since the charity started, these children have been nurtured and loved. Houses have been built for each orphan-led family and a school built and resourced. Both bodies and minds have been nourished and
this continues. Photographs now show healthy, smart and smiling groups of young people. Some of the orphans have graduated and how wonderful they looked. They were all learning new skills, some were provided with sewing
machines and others taught many manual skills. Land is being cleared to ensure it remains with the families and they are taught how to cultivate crops. Now they have comfort, food and security. It can be an up-hill
struggle and there have been set-backs along the way but with determination and, most of all, love many have been overcome. There were two quotes from the boys: the first ‘I am human again’ and the second ‘We wear
smiles because of you’. A testimony to the motto ‘Love never fails’.
14th December Christmas Meal at the Hawthorn Inn
Christmas comes but once a year and once again the stroke club enjoyed a wonderful meal at the Hawthorn Inn in Greeba.
The three-course menu, with five or six choices for each course, had something for everyone and we all tucked in heartily. More than sixty members and guests were present and there was much conversation. We
all took the opportunity to acquaint ourselves with new members and catch up with those who had not been able to attend meetings during the year. Our special Christmas raffle raised a fantastic £246 for the
Foundation. The evening was a very pleasant way to finish the stroke club’s year.
9th November John Dog Collister – Rush work
On Thursday 9th November
2017 we welcomed John Dog Collister who gave an excellent demonstration of his rush work while entertaining us with
his humorous and informative anecdotes. He began by making a bumbee cage telling us how, long ago, children were shown
how to weave the rushes into a little cage and then wait by a foxglove to catch a bumble bee in it. They believed that
that the bee was really a naughty fairy! Whilst the child was asleep the parents would open the cage and let the bee go
then put small stones or shells in and close it up to make a rattle. John Dog then made a St Bridget’s cross telling
the story of how St Bridget wove the cross from rushes, which were strewn on the floor, whilst sitting at her father’s
bedside. He was not expected to live but he returned to health and this was attributed to the cross. Since then many
homes in Ireland display a St Bridget’s cross. John Dog modified this to make a three-legged cross which he then made
into the Three Legs of Man. He followed this by making a pomander which could hold lavender or any pleasant scent. All
of the items were works of art and he made it look so easy! There were many questions from the members who asked
where he picked the rushes (South Barrule was a good place) and also if he used freshly picked rushes (it is better
to leave them a few weeks to dry out otherwise the rush work would be too loose). A very pleasant evening was enjoyed
23rd November The Regal Singers
The Regal Singers joined us once again on Thursday 23rd November 2017. This time, however, we were at St Andrew’s Church rather than Corrin Court. We enjoyed an
excellent and varied programme of songs old and new, some funny and some moving. Wendy and Kath played a wonderful piano duet and Alan amused us all with his anecdotes. The Regal Singers never fail to give us a
splendid evening’s entertainment.
12th October Sheeayn Millish Choir
On Thursday 12th October Sheeayn Millish choir enthralled us with their music. They opened the evening with ‘This
Little Light of Mine’, ‘Oh Maria’ and ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band’. This was followed by a wonderful anthem from Chess. ‘Chatenooga Choo Choo’ had us all tapping our feet but, in contrast, ‘Cantilena’ and ‘the
Irish Blessing’ were quietly moving. Gareth, conductor and pianist, played a solo ‘Nigeli’ by Ludovico Eienandi. The audience all agreed that this had been a delightful evening’s entertainment.
26th October Halloween Supper
Our Halloween party on 26th October 2017 was held at Corrin Court. Niarbyl Catering put on a wholesome hot pot and the choice of two desserts. Fewer members
than expected were able to attend and this meant that we were given some hot pot to take home – a bonus for us! In the true spirit of Halloween many had donned appropriate outfits. First prize went to Eljo
whose wonderful costume managed to display his usual sartorial elegance! We didn’t see any bats, ghouls or skeletons though!
14th September Manx Blind Welfare
We welcomed David from the Manx
Blind Welfare on Thursday September 14th to tell us about their work. David’s enthusiasm was catching and many of us
were unaware of how much the Manx Blind welfare do to support those with visual difficulties. There are only a handful
of the population who are totally blind. However, there are very many eye conditions and causes of visual problems. We
were given the opportunity to try different glasses mimicking sight issues. David is a self-confessed gadget man and
brought along a variety of bits and pieces one of which was a small gadget that ‘speaks’ colours when placed on an
article. How clever but also very costly! Members attend on a regular basis and enjoy a meal and interaction with
others. Various activities are offered even shooting and bowling. David gave us a great insight into their work and
without volunteers and the commitment of people like himself the Manx Blind Welfare would not be the success that it
28th September Manx Life - Roy Kennaugh
On Thursday 28th September 2017 we were given a grand tour
of Saxon life in the North of the Island with many wonderful pictures. Roy Kennaugh opened the journey in Douglas with
an amazing panoramic view of the town. We moved on to the Nunnery, Castle Ward and the meeting of the Doo and the Glass.
An interesting writing on the wall read ‘Welcome to Hell’. Continuing on we enjoyed pictures of Tromode water wheel
at Cronkbourne and Onchan Park before going on to Ballacottier, Abbeylands and Lonan. A view of the bay at Laxey was
breath taking. The Dhoon and the Coronary valley looked spectacular as did Bride church. Close to Bride a field of
poppies compared well with the poppy fields in Flanders. Moving on to Andreas Church and Primrose Hill nearing the
end of our journey we were shown pictures of Ravensdale, Kirk Michel and Bishopscourt in the snow and a lovely
assortment of photographs taken for their general beauty. A question and answer session took place and amazingly
Roy actually learned some facts from the group. The evening had been light hearted and very informative – a great
17th August Afternoon Tea at Peel Golf Club
On August 17th we decided on
a change from Bingo to Afternoon Tea. A change that everyone enjoyed. The venue was Peel Golf Club and, as often happens
on our outings, it was a beautiful, sunny day. The food provided was excellent and plenty of it! During the afternoon
we were joined by John Lagadere who presented a cheque to the Manx Stroke Foundation for the sum of £440 which he
raised from sponsorship for the Parish walk. Well done John and many thanks from all of us.
3rd August Laxey Hand Bells
The bells rang out for us with the ‘Laxey Handbells’ opening the
evening for us. We were told a little about the bells which dated back many years. What followed was an extraordinary
concert of 25 tunes. Included in this were classical, pop, rock and traditional genres of music. An American medley was
enjoyed as were the Beatles songs. We were all familiar with the music from the shows such as: ‘If I were a rich man’,
‘Edelweiss’ and ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’. Feet were tapping around the room and a game of ‘name that song’
developed. We were at the Proms with ‘Rule Britannia’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’. Finally, we all joined in with
‘Abide with me’ before three members were invited to try the bells. The Laxey Handbells were so impressive (but not
so much our members). A ringing endorsement from us all!
20th July Nick Pinder : The Manx Bat Group
On July 20th 2017 Nick Pinder
from the ‘Manx Bat Group’ came to give us a talk about bats. A very informative and interesting evening was enjoyed by
our members. Bats are, of course, mammals and there are about 1000 species. The Apostle bats are 50 million years old.
In the tropics, with the abundance of fruit, we find the fruit bat. There are bats in every continent bar Antarctica.
The feared vampire bat inhabits central America while Australia is the home to the Ghost bat. The largest species is
the Giant Indian Flying Fox. In the British Isles we are lucky to have several species, usually insect eaters but also
pollinators of crops.
The life cycle of the bat is quite simple but well organised. The males display vocally and females have only one baby per year.
Mating takes place in May and June and maternity roosts keep mum and baby warm and dry. Flight of the young is around July and
August. Roosts chosen can be anything from a lift or cellar to a hollow tree.
In 1980 Britain brought in the Law of Protection for Bats and the Isle of Man followed later in 1990. Nick brought along a
rescued baby bat and then had a question and answer session during which members asked many questions showing great interest
in the subject. The old myth that bats are blind was dispelled for along with their superb sonar we are told that sight also
comes into play. An excellent, educational evening was enjoyed by all.
22nd JUNE Lunch at the Salmon Lake Centre, Laxey
On Thursday 22nd June 2017
our members gathered together for lunch at the Salmon Lake Centre in Laxey. Various modes of transport were provided
and the ride was extremely pleasant since we were blessed with beautiful weather. We were given a choice of three main
courses and three desserts. The staff were kind and attentive and the meal was enjoyed by all. Forty members and
several guests were present and it was agreed that the outing was different and a great success. Many of our members
appreciate the opportunity the go out and socialise as otherwise this may not be possible. We were also pleased that
those who cannot go out in the evenings were able to join us. We hope to repeat the venture next year.
11th May 2017 Jane Corkill and pupils
At our club night on May 11th we again had the pleasure of welcoming Jane Corkill and her pupils. A very talented young man, Joe,
played us some piano music. He had gained excellent marks in the Guild. Little Scarlett sang for the very first time in front of an audience - she was so brave singing two songs : ‘My Dog Spot’ and ‘Ride on a
Rainbow’. Both were beautifully sung and we were amazed that Scarlett is also a rugby player! Anna brought us joy with her singing of ‘Care flies from the lad that is merry’ and ‘What of the flower the blackbird
has taken’. Ellie sang ‘She like the swallow’ and ‘Chim Chim Cheree’ with such poise and a lovely voice. Eve is another young star who amused us with the funny poem ‘Old maid in the cupboard’ spoken with
amazing expression. Sisters Anna and Lucy are young ladies we have become familiar with. They go from strength to strength. They sang ‘ The water is wide’ and ‘Thank you for the music’ beautifully. We all
joined young Scarlett in ‘My grandfather’s Clock’. It is always such a treat for us when Jane and her pupils give their time to entertain us.
25th May Afternoon Tea at the Abbey Restaurant, Ballasalla
On a beautiful sunny afternoon on the 25th May 2017, forty -five members enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea at the Abbey restaurant in
Ballasalla. There was a superb selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones and lots of tea and coffee. The room was filled with conversation as we all caught up on the latest gossip. To make the outing even more special
Julie Clarke, Life after Stroke co-ordinator, presented Irene with a lovely bunch of flowers and a certificate to mark the Manx Stroke Foundation’s twentieth anniversary this year. If the laughter that could be heard
coming from the mini-bus on their way home is anything to go by then everyone had a good time!
6th APRIL - Musicale
On Thursday April 6th 2017 we welcomed back
Musicale who always give us a good night’s entertainment. This night was no exception with a rousing opening number
‘It’s a Grand Night for Singing’ followed by a medley of songs from the James Bond movies. The world of espionage was
left behind as we entered the animal kingdom with a poem read by Ruth of T S Eliott’s ‘The naming of cats’ and then a
lovely rendition of ‘Feed the Birds’ from Kay and finally ‘The worm’ given by Sandy. The topic of love was then explored
with Cole Porter’s ‘In the Still of the Night’, ‘The Rose’ and ‘The Way you Look Tonight’. Christine then sang,
unaccompanied, a beautiful Irish folk song ‘Going to the Fair’. There were many more favourites beautifully sung
including ‘New York, New York’, ‘Danny Boy’, ‘Scarborough Fair’ and ‘Sound of Silence’ - the last two cleverly blended.
The finale, ‘You Raise me Up’, was certainly fitting as everyone’s spirits were lifted having enjoyed a wonderful
AGM: 20th APRIL
The 20th Annual General Meeting of the Manx Stroke Foundation took place on 20th
April 2017. There were about forty members present. Our President Dr Khuraijam gave the opening address telling us
about his recent attendance at the International Stroke Conference in India. The aim of these conferences is to ensure
that best practice in diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation is carried out throughout the world. Jane Bridge then
gave the chairman’s report outlining all that had been achieved over the year but also over the last twenty years. She
told about the start of the Manx Stroke Foundation and its inaugural meeting which was held exactly twenty years
previously on 20th April 1997. Our finances are in the good hands of Irene Gardner who went through the year’s report
and, thanks to the generosity of the Manx public and support of local businesses, our finances are healthy enabling us
to continue to fund grants where needed. The committee was than voted in with the addition of one new member, Paul
Allinson. Three committee members stood down, Sharon Craine, David Dow and Peter Kelly and they were thanked for the
work they have done for us. Subscriptions will remain at £5 - a sum which has not changed since 1997. The evening then
closed with a shared supper - so much was brought in that even the taxi drivers went home with a doggy bag!
March 9th -Oops
Due to an oversight by the programme planner our speaker
from the Bat Group was unable to attend on March 9th but all was not lost as a few of our own members got up to tell
us a bit about themselves. Irene told us about moving to the Island from Yorkshire and how she is now firmly settled
on Manx soil then Doris told us about her early life growing up in Lherghey Cripperty. Rae then reminisced about her
holidays on the Island and her move over here while still quite young and finally we heard some humorous tales from
Peter about when he was driving coaches for holiday makers and weddings. This got us all talking and we all chatted
amongst ourselves and learnt a lot about each other.
March 23rd - Gaiety Theatre trip - Legally Blond
On March 23rd we all put on our glad rags for at trip to
the theatre. The musical ‘Legally Blond’ was showing and we were not disappointed. The cast was wonderful - there is such
talent on the Island. The music and the dancing had us all tapping our feet along with them. However Bruiser and Rufus (the
dogs) stole the show with lots of ‘ooos’ and ‘ahhs’ from the audience. Judging by the smiles on faces as we left it seems that
everyone enjoyed the evening.
Howard Parkin F.R.A.S. made a return visit to our club night,
having previously been with us in February 2011 and May 2013.
He gave us a most interesting talk and showed images of the amazing Hubble telescope which is a space telescope that was
launched in to low earth orbit in 1990 and remains in operation. It was named after Edwin Hubble, an astronomer, who died in 1953 aged sixty-three.
When the Hubble telescope was launched there were problems because the main mirror had been ground incorrectly. The telescope
was built by the USA Space Agency NASA with contributions from the European Space Agency.
The telescope is expected to continue to function for a few years yet - possibly until 2040.
It is hoped that Hubble will work alongside the James Webb Space Telescope which is scheduled for launch in 2018.
It was Edwin Hubble’s discovery in 1923 of the fact there were stars beyond our Milky Way that led to the realisation that the
Universe comprises more than one galaxy.
The telescope has been visited and serviced 5 times by shuttle astronauts up to now.
23rd February - Roy Wilson - Chair based exercises
We had a very good
turn out on a very bad night - twenty members in all enjoyed an evening of chair based exercises with Roy Wilson. If
‘laughter is the best medicine’ is correct then we were all healed. We laughed and giggled until our sides ached. Roy
was so very patient and although we didn’t succeed in completing everything planned it all felt good. Time overtook us
unfortunately. We were divided into two teams and played some ball games which were great fun. No one fell off a chair
and there were no injuries - so that was a bonus! A wonderful relaxation was enjoyed at the finish. We applaud Roy
because we know that great benefit can be achieved for stroke survivors and he is dedicated to this end.
Faith Supper 12th January
Unfortunately the meeting on 12th January 2017
has to be cancelled due to adverse weather forecasts so we had to forego our Faith Supper for this year. Thankfully
everyone had been informed and no one turned up to find the venue closed!
26th January - Keith Watterson - the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace
On Thursday 26th January Mr Keith
Watterson introduced us to the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace. Buckingham Palace is the official residence and the
administrative headquarters of our monarchy.The original building was a town house which was destroyed by fire 300 years ago.
It was rebuilt on the site and is now is a working building with offices and personnel who manage the day to day activities
of the monarchy. People from every walk of life have been welcomed to the palace; politicians, world leaders, diplomats,
industrialists and sports personalities. The American visitors are enthralled by its splendour. The palace is endowed with
priceless art works, furniture and treasures collected by the royal families. Queen Victoria and Albert were the first royal
family to reside here and they extended the building as their family grew and grew. There are 1,000 visitors a week who enjoy
a tour of the state rooms. The income from the visitors exceeds the cost of maintenance which is good to hear. At times
there are exhibitions on display for example the Queen’s dresses and robes and Faberge jewellery. We enjoyed a DVD showing
many occasions of interest and took us around the rooms and gardens where the famous garden parties take place. The palace
has naturally had its share of repairs during its lifetime. Portland stone has replaced the original sandstone and minor
damage during World War Two has been made good. However there is to be a costly renovation soon but as a national treasure
its future must be assured. Keith’s presentation and DVD gave us a very interesting and delightful evening.
Christmas Meal 8th December
On Thursday 8th December 2016 the Stroke
Club returned to the Hawthorn Inn to celebrate the season. We enjoyed a fabulous three-course meal and, with five
choices for each course, no one was disappointed. The room buzzed with conversation, laughter and good cheer. The
usual special raffle was held ensuring many went home with a good prize. A pleasant evening was had by all and it
was a fitting end to our Stroke Club year.
10th November 2016 Shane and Charlotte Lucas Mile Up, Mile Down
On a wet and windy 10th November 2016, members were pleased to welcome back Shane Lucas, with his
wife Charlotte, to tell us about some of their adventures. This intrepid pair have trekked up the highest mountain in Europe and down the deepest cave! We were shown some wonderful views of places that many (if
not all) of us would never hope to see. The first part of their talk took us up Mont Blanc- a trek that took five days. Essential equipment such as ice hacks and spiked crampons were needed to cross glaciers and
crevasses. Their time acclimatising was spent training in rescue methods, one of which involved Charlotte being ‘thrown’ down a crevasse to be rescued by the team! The trek was very exhausting as seen on the
face of one of the group but the views from the top of Europe were magnificent. Whilst melted snow provided their water it also brought difficulties - the snow intensified the risk of sunburn and without dark
glasses the glare off the snow can cause blindness. There were many peaks to climb and in places they used chair lifts or gondolas and some sheer rock faces had chains to help them along.
We were then taken down the Gouffre Berger cave. Again specialist equipment is needed and Shane brought along his helmet to show us it has two lamps - one battery powered and the other calcium carbide which gives off
intense light when lit. All the team take a number of tackle bags which contain all that is needed (food, cooking facilities, dingies etc.).They pot-holed down narrow shafts and caved in some magnificent places. The
places are not all small, some were huge with incredible rock formations and some with pools over which they crossed with dingies or by clinging to the rocks at the edge! In some places they needed to abseil down ropes
and it essential that they measure their ropes correctly - if not they could find themselves short by many feet! If you are planning to attempt some potholing make sure you knot the end of the rope so you know it is at
an end! We were delighted with the many photographs and their own sketches and awed by their courage and skill in taking part in these dangerous but obviously exhilarating activities. We hope they will return with more
of their tales.
13th October The Lon Vane Ladies Choir
Thursday 13th October 2016 brought a very welcome return of the Lon Vane Ladies Choir. Their lovely magenta jackets brightened up the
room as much as their singing filled it with harmony. Their opening pieces included ‘Amani Utupe’, ‘Flying free’ and ‘You raise me up’. Pat followed this with a poem and brought us back to our ‘School Days’ and
Morag then sang a solo: ‘The Singer’ by Michael Head. The choir then sang ‘For everything there is a Season’, ‘Goodnight’ and a finger-clicking good version of Petula Clark’s ‘Downtown’. Christine Bregazzi, the
choir’s director, then performed a topically themed prose in Manx Dialect about elections and the paucity of women MHKs. Lon Vane’s concert would not be the same without the excellent duet by the two Vals
(Kissack and Cowley) singing and dancing ‘We’re a couple of swells’! We were then given a beautiful rendition of ‘Carrick Fergus’ and the evening’s entertainment concluded with ‘Swing low sweet Chariot’. A very
enjoyable evening was had by all.
27th October Halloween Supper
Thirty-two members attended for our Halloween Supper on 27th October. It was good to see that some had carried on the tradition of dressing up for the occasion
and in that respect Clare gave us the most entertainment with his wonderful wig! The hall was decorated with pumpkins, lanterns, spiders, witches and scary faces giving a spooky ambience to the room. We sat down
to a lovely supper of shepherd’s pie with lots of red cabbage and beetroot. This was followed by a choice of two gateaux and tea or coffee. This was served to our tables by Ken from Niarbyl Catering. A very
enjoyable evening was had by all.
1st SEPTEMBER CAPTAIN STEPHEN CARTER - NAUTICAL MUSINGS
On Thursday 1st September 2016 Captain Stephen Carter came along to our club night with his many amusing
stories. Stephen spent his childhood in ideal conditions on Loch Promenade. His love of the sea and sailing developed from a very early age and he spent many happy hours in the harbour. Tourists streamed from
the many passenger boats - eight in total at that time - an amazing 64,000 people would disembark. With such a vast amount of visitors the horse trams would run until midnight. As mischievous boys, Stephen and
friends would place metal bottle tops on the tram lines which went off like like bullets as the tram went over them. Stephen’s obsession with the sea and boats inspired him to make his own boat at the tender
age of eleven. However success turned into failure when it sank! At fifteen John Kelly recognised his potential and employed him as mate on the water launch and finally as skipper. To enhance his wages there
was some some skulduggery in place; overloading was expertly hidden from the harbour master! Several incidents were described, one being a lady in a tight skirt, not ideal for climbing a ladder. This resulted
in a wet lady, underwear in view and some medicinal brandy! On a particular wet and windy day as the ashes of a loved one were to be scattered another disaster almost occurred. The tug boat rolled and pitched
and the family were clinging for dear life, packed like sardines in the wheelhouse. This time, although soaked and uncomfortable, duty was done safely. No brandy, sadly on this occasion.
Now as, Harbour Pilot, the Captain bears huge responsibility for guiding steamers, cruise ships and tankers (holding 4,200 tons of fuel) through the waters of the bay and harbour. ‘BE CAREFUL’ what an understatement!
A fun and interesting evening was had by all.
8th September Alexandra Slater and Eoghan Doyle
On Thursday 8th September we were delighted to welcome back Alexandra Slater. She brought along her dancing partner, Eoghan Doyle for a
fantastic evening of song and dance. Alexandra charmed us with her amazing voice. She gave us four beautiful songs, delivered with poise and confidence. ‘O’mio babbino Caro’, ‘Loves Philosophy’, ‘Nella Fantasia’
and ‘Danny Boy (which she sang unaccompanied).
At the interval teas and raffle tickets were distributed. Returning after the break, Alexandra and Eoghan sparkled in their sequinned costumes. Their dancing was superb and we could have been viewing ‘Strictly Come
Dancing’ - all this at Corrin Court! They danced the Samba, Cha Cha and Jive. A real show night for sure. Alexandra and Eoghan have been dancing partners from an early age. They are still only fourteen so their future
as artists is assured. Alexandra has been accepted into the Royal Northern College of Music which she will attend at weekends until she is eighteen when she will go full time. Many congratulations to her! She is also
to play Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ at the Gaiety - a huge roll for one so young. Marilyn Kissack accompanied Alexandra at very short notice and did a sterling job. The evening was such a joy that we are eager for a
return of these two talented young people.
Monday 19th September Adrian Cowin - Forecasting the Weather
Senior Meteorological Officer, Adrian Cowin, came along to our club meeting on 19th September 2016 to give us some facts and
figures regarding the weather. This was appropriate since, as a nation, it is something that we are obsessed with. Adrian explained where our weather comes from and it is reliant on these factors: Polar; Arctic;
Polar continental; Polar maritime; Tropical continental. These are the air masses that are responsible for the changes in our weather. The weather on this particular week, with its muggy nights, fog, mist and
uncomfortable days, was brought in by the Tropical continental air mass.
Adrain had some splendid , if not worrying, photographs of the Island in crisis with floods and over-topping waves. However our friends at
the Meteorological Station are excellent at producing fairly reliable forecasts. This is indeed essential since, on the Island, there is a danger of disruption to transport. Global warming comes into play and, by means
of graphs, we were shown some alarming spikes in weather patterns. The picture for the future looks depressing. High Spring tides plus huge waves may cause flooding. This was evident throughout 2014 - we all remember
a crisis when flooding, coastal erosion and high tides were responsible for shocking damage. For residents of the North of the Island we are assured that they enjoy warmer and drier weather than the rest of us - but
they knew that, didn’t they? A very informative and interesting talk was given by Adrian as proved by the many questions asked of him. Here’s hoping we have a mild winter and a hot summer next year!
11th August - Keyboards R Us
On Thursday 11th August 2016 we had a fun time with Eric Kelly and ‘Keyboards R Us’. Keyboards R Us consists of two keyboard
players, Eric and Jimmy, and Granville who started the evening singing ‘Just Pretend’ - a fine sentiment. Eric and Jimmy tickled the ivories and are also fine singers. ‘When my Little Girl is
Smiling’, ‘Il Silenzio’ and some sixties music followed - always popular with us ‘wrinklies’! Three delightful waltzes were played and sung after which we all joined in with
‘The Laxey Wheel Keeps Turning’. Quite an emotional rendition of ‘For the Good Times’ was given by Jimmy. Then came the laughter on account of Granville and his female backing group
‘Blond and Brunette’ (aka Eric and Jimmy). Where did those falsetto notes come from? There was a tinge a disappointment, however, as they had forgotten their dresses! The Bee Gees’ song
‘Words’ was sung by Jimmy - a lovely song, sung with great feeling. Eric (or little Winnie) played ‘Black and White Rag’ - his fingers flying over the keyboard with such dexterity.
Towards the conclusion of a fine evening we heard a medley of songs and, finally, ‘We’ll Meet Again’ - we sincerely hope so!
14th July - The Regal Singers
On Thursday 14th July Alan Wilcocks, his brilliant stand-in accompanist, Cath, and the Regal Singers came to our club night to entertain us. With
Alan’s wit and superb singing they never disappoint. We always have a full house and this is no surprise. There were 18 songs and 4 solos, some of which were familiar and some newer. We were all encouraged to join in
The evening began with ‘It’s a Grand Night for Singing’ and it certainly was! Alan gave us ’Some Enchanted Evening’ and Anne and Peter Fletcher a duet ‘One Day in May’. Arthur Cowin amused us with ‘Strike another Match’ and Harry
Galbraith sang ‘When I Fall in Love’. All of these were presented with such feeling.
The finale sent us all on our way feeling uplifted and, probably, singing. This was a very clever medley of famous songs. Everyone agreed that we had had a wonderful time.
28th JULY JULIETTE THOMSON - THE FLOWER FESTIVAL
At our stroke club meeting on 28th July Juliette Thomson shared her memories and photographs of the 2015 Flower Festival. The thought
processes and talent of the participants was inspirational. The brief for 2015 was ‘Our Community ‘. The arrangement at Ramsey was of a waterfall and featured a cascade of fluffy white flowers tumbling onto
rocks below. A very accurate and pretty cottage garden along with the perfect Manx Cottage was worthy of a gold at the Chelsea Flower Show! Ramsey remembered war heroes with flowers and one ceramic rose from
the display at Windsor Castle.
At Jurby a natural sculpture of a gorse train was displayed whilst Andreas took the theme of agriculture with a clever idea of a milk churn overflowing with milky white flowers into a container beneath. A realistic
beach scene at Port St Mary invited us to take off our shoes and enjoy the sandy beach. Children were involved in Milntown where the young people from the Bunscoill not only designed six gardens but worked hard to make
them flourish. Each child also painted a stone. No doubt we have some future Monty Dons in the making.
An extremely thought provoking and different take on the Trinity was shown by the Independent Methodist’s Net with flowers representing water, steam and ice - the ‘Three in One’. The displays by the Peggy Boathouse, the
Grove Museum, the Parkinson’s Society and the Health Professions all gave their own glimpse into community life.
For many of us who had been unable to view the Flower Festival first hand, the evening was a delight. We look forward to Juliette’s return to our club night with her pictures and memories of the 2016 Flower Festival.
9th June - TT week no meeting
23rd June SHANE LUCAS The voyage of Odin’s Raven
On Thursday evening 23rd June 2016 we were delighted to
welcome Shane Lucas who presented us with the story of ‘Odin’s Raven’. In 1979 Shane was responsible for training five
Norwegian and eleven Manx men for their arduous journey in the beautiful Viking ship with her stunning dragon’s head. She was
also decorated with the various shields sponsored by different organizations.
Odin’s Raven was just fifty feet long and we were privy to young men sleeping wherever possible and looking extremely wet, tired and
hairy. The journey included Shetland, Orkney, Scotland, Lewis, Isle of Skye and finally its destination - the Isle of Man. Shane
pleased us with photographs of sunsets, stunning scenery and Shane’s own remarkable sketches.
On arrival in the Isle of Man she was a spectacular sight with Norwegian and Manx flags flying. The crew were jubilant if very tired.
So the Manx Millennium had been celebrated in true Viking style.
12th May Walk in the Arboretum followed by Afternoon Tea at the Hawthorn
This year’s Spring outing began with a walk in the Arboretum at St John’s followed by Afternoon
Tea at the Hawthorn in Greeba. Those who chose to make the walk were rewarded with the sight of lovely blossoms on the trees and a pleasant sunny afternoon. Following their walk they joined the rest of the
members at the Hawthorn. We were then served with a plateful of delicious sandwiches, cakes and scones and a choice of tea and coffee. The venue, the food and the company could not have been bettered. A
very pleasant afternoon was had by all and we can certainly look forward to another outing at the Hawthorn.
26th May Jane Corkill and her pupils
On Thursday 26th May 2016 Jane Corkill brought along twelve of her pupils to perform a variety of songs and piano pieces. A number of the children had
come along on previous years and their talent just grows and grows. Evie and Niamh opened the concert with an Italian flavour of ‘Poco Poppa Pizza’ and ‘Mama Piccolo’ followed by Lois,the youngest at eight
years, who sang ‘Friendly Cow’ and ‘Lazy Sunday Afternoon’. Then Jo played ‘Calypso Jo’ and sang ‘Bear Necessities’. The eldest of the group, Imie, who is studying GCSE music gave us a wonderful rendition of
the Dalmation Cradle song and ‘Chim Chim Cheree’. To continue with songs from the musicals, Georgia gave a lovely performance of ‘Where is Love’ from Oliver. Anna and Lucy performed another duet with ‘The Water
is Wide’ and also each sang a solo. A second Niamh performed ‘Bibbety Bobbity Boo’ from Cinderella and ‘My Favourite Things’ from the Sound of Music. ‘Close Every Door’ from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour
Dreamcoat was excellently sung by Rock. Josh played two lovely pieces on the piano: a lullaby and ‘Scattered Showers’. The concert closed with a trio of three of the year 6 girls singing ‘Dark Island’. It was
a delightful evening and we look forward to their next visit. Many of the children, along with their parents, stayed on for refreshments and the all important raffle and some even took home some prizes!
14th April 2016 Annual General Meeting
On Thursday 14th April 2016 some 40 members attended our 19th Annual General Meeting. Our Chairman, Jane Bridge, welcomed
everyone to the meeting and then introduced Dr Khuraijam who gave the opening remarks. He told us that it is with great pleasure that he is now in his tenth year as President of the Manx Stroke Foundation.
World -wide the incidence of stroke is very high at 15 million a year so he is encouraged that treatment and research into stroke continues to progress as does the stroke service on the Island. Following this
Jane gave the Chairman’s report highlighting all that has been going on during the year and thanking all involved. Once again the committee will be sending £10,000 to the Stroke Association for stroke
research. Jane remembered those who have passed on this year, June Brooks, Geoff Willis, Don Williamson, Dennis Myers and Ken Quirk. The accounts were then presented by our Treasurer, Irene Gardner. There have
been many donations over the year and the funds remain very healthy. She reminded the members that grants are available where needed and all requests are kept strictly confidential. There were no changes to the
officers on the committee with Jane Bridge remaining as Chairman, Irene Gardner as Treasurer and Maureen Redmayne as Secretary. Each was proposed and seconded from the floor. The other committee members also
remain the same and their nominations were proposed and seconded en bloc. Strickett and Moore have agreed to continue to audit the books for the next year. Subscriptions will remain at £5 per year. Before the
members tucked into the now customary ‘Faith Supper’, we were delighted to welcome Gillian Horsey, Stroke Specialist Nurse, to update us on the remarkable progress of the stroke services on the
Island. There is still much to come over the next months and years with a new integrated stroke ward and the aim is for a 24 hour/7 days a week thrombolysis service. Gillian answered many questions from the
floor. Jane thanked Gillian for her talk and for her lead in stroke care ensuring that all worked together for a positive future.
28th APRIL ROC VANNIN CHOIR
The first visit of the Roc Vannin choir to the stroke club on Thursday 28th April 2016 went down very well with all those who attended. Those who didn’t missed a
rousing performance which was quite unique. Unfortunately the evening clashed with the Guild so many of the regulars were unable to attend. This mixed choir certainly rocked the room with a wonderful variety of
songs. A good night was had by all and we shall certainly invite them back again.
10th MARCH COLBY AND THE COLBY RIVER
We were delighted to welcome Brian Rae to our club night on Thursday 10th March. Brian will be known to many from his days as a radio weather forecaster but his presentation this evening was on Colby and the Colby river.
His illustrated talk followed the Colby river from its beginning on the slopes of Cronk yn Irree Laa all the way to Kentraugh and into the sea at Bay ny Carrickey. Until late 19th century Port Erin and Port St Mary
would have been supplied with water from the reservoir at Scard but the South is no longer served by the Colby river’s reservoirs. However water was drawn from the river during the drought of 1959, which some of us
Brian showed us some lovely views that can be enjoyed walking along the river down into Colby Glen, which must be one of the most picturesque glens on the island. Up until the early 20th century
people used the path from Ballakilpherick down through the glen as a thoroughfare to Arbory Church or to drive cattle to the river to drink. In 1912 the folk at Colby and Ballakilpherick used ‘people power’ to
maintain free access through the glen when the owners of the glen blocked the footpaths and locked the gates. A crowd gathered and Will Costain of Ballachrink three times asked the owners to open the gate with no
success. So Ned Gale of Ballakilpherick, armed with a hammer, broke the chains and padlock. The owners took no further action and people were able to continue to use the paths.
Brian told us many more anecdotes of
the characters of Colby - John Butcher, a Primitive preacher from Whitehaven, Bill Duke who lost his hand trying to fish using a stick of dynamite, Donny Collister who left a fortune to Manx National Heritage. The
Colby Bridge, which is part of the main road, was built in 1776 and in the 1960’s was threatened with demolition in order to widen the road. But, once again, people power won the day when two Colby seniors sat on the
bridge and refused to move. So the original bridge remains in place.
The river continues past the train station and through fields to Kentraugh Estate. The wording over the entrance ‘Judge not your fellow man’s
condition until you have been in his position’ is good advice even today. As the river trickles into the Bay you may notice a building on the shore. This was a bone mill used to grind bones for fertilizer. Brian’s
talk was very much appreciated and stimulated a lot of discussion. He was heartily thanked.
AFTERNOON TEA DOUGLAS GOLF CLUB 24th March 2016
Our first afternoon outing of 2016 took place at the Douglas Golf Club on Thursday 24th March. Fifty members and guests enjoyed a sandwich,
cake and scone. The afternoon outings are always welcomed by those who find it difficult meeting in the evening so there was a lot of conversation and catching up on everyone’s news. We also welcomed new members
and hope they will join us again for our next outing.
11th February - Councillor Sara Hackman
On Thursday 11th February 2016 we were very fortunate to welcome the Mayor of Douglas, Councillor Sara Hackman, to our club night. She gave us a very
entertaining talk of her year as Mayor. She began with a history of the Town Hall and the first elections in 1860. In 1896 the Municipal Borough of Douglas came into being and the first Mayor of Douglas,
Alderman Thomas Keig came into office. Following him as the second Mayor was Alderman Stephen and it was his wife who donated the Chain of Office which is still in use and was worn by Councillor Hackman to
our meeting. She also brought along the Mayoral Robes which were donated by Dursley Stott in 1996 to commemorate the centenary of the Mayoral system.The Robes include a tri-cornered hat which proved very useful
(along with the woollen cloak) in last year’s very wet Tynwald Day Ceremony! She told us a number of anecdotes of her time such as going out on the life boat on a choppy day, or being treated like Royalty on
a submarine (HMS Vigilant) at Faslane. The role of Mayor is certainly a very busy one and to do this and hold down a full time job is remarkable. We were very grateful to the Mayor for giving up her time for
25th February - Lon Dhoo Male Voice Choir
On Thursday 25th February Stroke Club members were treated to a most enjoyable concert given by the Lon Dhoo Male Voice
Choir. Led by their Musical Director, Wendy McDowell, they began with a Cole Porter medley of songs such as ‘Another Opening of Another Show’, ‘Just One of Those Things’ and ‘Who Wants To Be a Millionaire’. The
evening progressed with many old and new favourites - ‘Little Liza Jane’, ‘ You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and ‘I Dreamed a Dream’. Peter Cringle, one of the choir’s three Cleveland medal winners, sang solo (Almost
Like Being in Love) as did Brian McBride and Arthur Bawden. Brian sang a selection of Irish songs including ‘The Mountains of Mourne’ and Arthur had everyone singing along to ‘Olga Petrovski the Beautiful Spy’.
The closing pieces included ‘Let There be Peace on Earth’ and, to finish, ‘Anthem’ from the musical ‘Chess’. This was the first time that Lon Dhoo had performed for us and after such a wonderful concert we can
only ask ourselves ‘ Why have we not asked them previously?’ and ‘When can they come again?’
14th January Faith Supper
As in now the custom our first stroke club
meeting for 2016 consisted of a Faith Supper. There was plenty of delicious food all donated and enjoyed by those who
attended. As an extra treat for the evening, members were serenaded by the piano playing of Alex Buck who is in year 10
at St Ninian’s High School and preparing for his Grade 8 piano as well as GCSE in music. The pieces he played included
Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and Fur Elise and Canzonetta by Frank Bridge. For an encore he played a short burst of
music from Pirates of the Caribbean. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening and hope that Alex will come back again.
A wonderful start to the New Year!
Unfortunately due to the inclement weather the evening had to be cancelled.
However we do hope that Shane Lucas, who was to have spoken, will present to us in the year.
CHRISTMAS MEAL - 10th December
On Thursday 10th December sixty-six members and guests gathered at the Hawthorn Inn, Greeba,
to partake of our Christmas celebration meal. A wonderful evening was had by all. There were no less than six choices for each course and the food was excellent, served
so efficiently and pleasantly. Santa was unable to come this year but we were not forgotten as he sent along one of his fairies and an elf to cheer us up! As a little
extra, everyone was given a gift of ‘Three Legs of Man’ chocolates. Then of course there was our special raffle with a lovely selection of prizes. Another successful
meal and we will certainly return to the Hawthorn in future.
26th NOVEMBER -The Isle of Man WI Choir
We were very fortunate to be entertained by the Isle of Man WI Choir on Thursday
26th November 2015. This choir was formed in 2012 and consists of members of the Women’s Institute from all over the Island and is led by Karen Elliot. Earlier this
year, the choir took part in a competition of WI choirs from all over the British Isles and reached 6th place - a remarkable achievement in such a short time. The concert
given on this evening left us in no doubt that they deserved to be amongst the best choirs. The programme ranged from older, traditional songs such as the ‘Manx Lullaby’
and ‘What a Wonderful World’ to more modern ones such as ‘Only You’ and the Beatles songs ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘When I’m 64’. Karen performed some lovely solos (‘Sing’
and ‘Valley of Laughter’) and Sue Collins amused us with poetry readings. Being a Manx WI choir they fittingly finished with Jerusalem and then Ellan Vannin. This was
a marvellous concert and hopefully the choir will return at a future club night.
12th NOVEMBER PETER CLAGUE TREKING TRAVELS
On Thursday 12th November 2015 we enjoyed a talk given by Peter Clague on his ‘treking travels’. He told us about his cruise around the Hebrides
and many little islands in the north of Scotland. He visited Lewis and Harris, North and South Uist and took a ferry to the small isle of Eriskay. He showed some lovely views of beaches, natural meadows and
bird life. Travel around these islands is determined by the tides but in the summer months is very pleasant. Scattered throughout the islands are found war memorials and he saw one memorial to a shipwreck of
the Anne Fane with the loss of 350 lives. He also visited Stornway and finally back to the mainland of Scotland to Ullapool. We were very grateful to Peter for sharing his memories of these lovely islands with
8TH OCTOBER 2015 ED KELLY - THE WEBSITE
Five years ago in 2010 we welcomed the launch of the Manx Stroke Foundation website bringing us
into the 21st Century! On 8th October Ed Kelly came along to tell us about the launch and to introduce those who may not have visited the site to it pages. Initially, Ed sought
the help of a work colleague, Steve, to put the site together. Steve gave lots of pointers and designed a new, colourful logo for the Foundation which you see on the website,
our leaflets and headed notepaper. But it was not long before Ed was on his own and in the deep end! But he came along swimmingly and has produced a site well worth a visit. Ed
went through each section where there is information on stroke, on the FAST campaign and about the Foundation itself. There is input from Our President, Dr Khuraijam, and also
Dr Thomas. There is a section where people can make donations by Pay Pal to the Foundation and there are sections on which is put our latest news with lots of photos of us
receiving cheques. The part we all found most interesting, however, was the Stroke Club Review. Ed’s dad, Peter, talked us through the many photos and pictures of our club
night presentations and entertainments. The Stroke Club Review page is our own online diary of events and photo album and we enjoyed seeing photos of members past and present.
Ed then encouraged people to come and access the site themselves although some were a little reticent! Ed was thanked for giving us the opportunity to see the site but also for
all the work he continues to do.
22nd 0ctober 2015 Halloween Supper
Our regular venue, Corrin Court, was decorated with ghouls and witches for our Halloween Supper on 22nd October
2015. We all tucked in to a delicious hotpot supper provided by Adrian and Rachael. This was followed by a selection of desserts - the bramble pie proving to be the
most popular. Many got into the spirit of the evening and dressed accordingly, giving our judges for the best fancy dress a difficult decision. In the end Myrtle and
Clare Gelling were given the prizes for their costumes but Clare graciously handed his chocolates to Olive Kerr as he felt her witch’s costume with an authentic looking
broomstick deserved a prize too. A very pleasant evening was had with lots of conversation and laughter.
10th SEPTEMBER 2015 LAXEY HAND BELLS
Musical evenings are always greatly enjoyed by members of the stroke club and those
who attended on 10th September were given a real treat when the ladies of Laxey came along with their hand bells. Jo, the group’s leader, brought the bells over with her
when she moved to the Island four years ago. She told us that the foundry which cast the bells closed in 1746 so she brought a piece of history with her. The programme
for the evening included many favourite pieces such as ‘Little Brown Jug’. ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’, ‘Pack Up Your Troubles’, ‘Bless Them All, ‘Blow the Wind
Southerly’, ‘Rule Britannia’, ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and ‘Bicycle Made For Two’ - all tunes that got the audience singing along. Then three intrepid volunteers Amanda,
Ann and Alex , were given the opportunity to play along with the ladies and what an excellent job they did! The finale of ‘Ellan Vannin’ followed by the ‘Manx National
Anthem’ was a fitting and rousing end to a very enjoyable concert.
24th September - THE FRIENDS OF CHERNOBYL’S CHILDREN , ISLE OF MAN - Norman Rivers
On September 24th 2015 members welcomed Mr Norman Rivers to tell
us about the Isle of Man branch of the Friends of Chernobyl’s Children. This was formed in 1999, four years after a group of churches in Blackburn started the first
branch in the UK and thirteen years after the Number 4 reactor overheated and exploded in Chernobyl. The amount of radiation following this explosion was 300 times
greater than from the two bombs on Japan in 1945. 80% of the fallout was on Belarus and it will take 24,000 years before the ground in Belarus is safe to grow food.
Since that day, 26th April 1986, the health of people living in Belarus and particularly that of the children, has been severely affected. Only 20% of the children in
Belarus are healthy. It has been shown that if children can have one month each year out of the environment over a number of years, then this can strengthen their
immune systems and help them maintain a healthy life.
The charity is purely self-funding and overcomes many bureaucratic obstacles (those of both Russia and the UK) to bring children over here to stay with a family for a month
over the summer. The children are aged 7 to 12 years and come each year for 3 to 5 years. While on the Island they see a doctor, optician and dentist who give up their own time
to see them. A local chemist has provided a year’s supply of multi-vitamins for each child for the last 16 years. Activities such as horse riding, rock pooling, tennis and
gymnastics as well as many visits to various place keep them busy during the week and the weekends are spent with their host families. They benefit greatly from their visits
and never forget the the kindness of the people of the Isle of Man. Mr Rivers really opened our eyes to the plight of the children of Belarus but also gave us an insight into
how this wonderful charity has helped so many of them.
AFTERNOON TEA AT NIARBYL - Thursday 13th August 2015
On 13th August 2015 forty-two members and quests made the journey to
Niarbyl on a glorious summer afternoon. Everyone tucked into a lovely afternoon tea with a selection of sandwiches, cakes, scones and meringues. We were disappointed
that the view from inside the cafe was obscured by a marquee in place for a wedding but those who were able walked outside to take in the beautiful view and could even
see the hills across the sea. We were delighted that old friends who cannot make the evening meetings joined us for the afternoon. There was a lot of gossip and
catching up on everyone’s news.
7th JULY 2015 - Zoe Crowe and Lesley Patterson - Sport for All
Thirty five members came along on 9th July to hear about the
opportunities available for all to participate in sporting activities. Zoe Crowe, who is the Disability Sports Organiser, based at the NSC, began by telling us about
the Passport to Sport initiative. Individuals who need support to enable them to participate in physical activity can apply for a passport and this will allow free
access to the carer who goes with them. The activities available include badminton, table tennis, indoor bowls and rehab swimming. There are swimming sessions at the
NSC and in the regional pools and qualified swimming instructors are present although not on a one-to-one basis. On the timetable are stretch and flex, walk and talk,
gentle circuit training and boccia. Participants can do any of these to their own ability.
Zoe went on to tell us about the ‘Cycle for Life’ scheme which
is held from 4 to 5 pm on Tuesday until the end of August. Accessible bikes are available and is proving very popular. Lesley Patterson who is the Programme Coordinator
for the Sports Development Unit then told us about the ‘Physical Activity on Referral’ programme which aims to support people who want or have been advised
to become more active. A referral from a health professional to the scheme will allow twelve weeks of free sessions in a chosen activity (one per week) - these could be
walk and talk, chair based exercises, gym or swimming. There are also disability specific sessions at the NSC for swimming, racquet sports and boccia. Zoe and Lesley
opened our eyes as to what is available for all and it is not only good for our health but is also good fun!
23rd JULY Dr ANDREW FOXON PLACES OF INTEREST IN THE ISLE OF MAN
On Thursday 23rd July we were delighted to welcome Dr Andrew Foxon from
Adventures to give us a talk, accompanied by pictures, on favourite places and walks on the Isle of Man. It was twenty years ago that Andrew fell in love with the Island
and now takes guided tours on beautiful walks. We were interested in his knowledge of burial chambers, rock features, plant and marine life. One example being the
‘Round the Sound Tour’ where one can see Sugar Loaf Rock, Bay Stacker, Black Head, Spanish Head and a view of the Calf of Man. The walk takes you along the coast to the
Calf Sound and continues on to Port Erin seeing St Patrick’s footprint on the way and on to Bradda Head. We had the pleasure of wonderful pictures.
Another interesting tour was Snaefell, North Barrule and on to Ramsey. The wild moorland was spectacular along to the Black Hut following the ridge up to the top of North
Barrule. From here the sweep of Ramsey Bay can be viewed.
In May, when the bluebells are out, Ballaglass Glen is a glory of colour and the walk along to ‘Cush Lynyard’ is covered with roadside flowers.At ‘Cush Lynyard’ there are
stone burial chambers dating back to 3000BC.
We all enjoyed the pictures and descriptions of these interesting places. Although the walks are not achievable by all present it was a delight to have them presented in such a beautiful way.
18th June - BINGO!
Our first June club night took place on the 18th June having been postponed a week because of the TT.
We commenced the evening filling in a questionnaire provided by Zoe Crowe from the National Sports Centre who wants to know what exercise needs and desires people have.
Following this, members, armed with newly acquired, purple dabbers, got ready with eyes down for an hilarious game of bingo. Our very own caller, Sandie, set off at
break-neck speed and it wasn’t long before Dawn claimed the first fantastic prize being the first to get a line. The prizes then went thick and fast for full-house,
top-line, middle line and so on! But not without a few false calls or moans from the floor! They say that laughter is the best medicine and a few doses were had that
night! No doubt we will have another Bingo night in future.
25th JUNE - Jane Corkill and Pupils
On June 25th we were delighted to welcome Jane Corkill and eleven of her talented pupils to entertain us for the
evening. The children have been working hard all year for their music exams and on their Guild pieces. They performed these for us so well that they all deserve a mention.
Evie began the concert singing ‘Butterfly’ and ‘The Seagull’ and reciting the poem ‘Grandma’ and then Jacob sang ‘Something Spooky’ and ‘The Lighthouse’. This was the
first concert for Lois who, at just 7 years old, sang ‘Do you want to build a snowman’ followed by ‘Doh a Deer’ and the audience all joined in! Marcus sang the
‘Smuggler’s Song’ and ‘Where is love’ from ‘Oliver’. Georgia continued the theme of ‘The Sound of Music’ with ‘Edelweiss’ after singing ‘London Birds’ and ‘Golden
Slumbers’. We heard some delightful piano playing from Joe with ‘Second Base’ and ‘Sad little Pip’ after which he sang ‘Big Boats, Little Boats’. Izzie, for whom this
was a first concert, sang ‘Bibbity, Bobbity Boo’ and, from the Sound of Music, ‘My Favourite Things’ and then her brother, Josh, played ‘Little Flower’ and ‘Bumble Bee’
beautifully on the piano. Carla then sang ‘Dark Island’ and ‘Second Star to the Right’ followed by Anna who sang ‘In Summertime’ and ‘Come and Buy’. Ellie sang another
Sound of Music favourite ‘The Hills are Alive’ and closed the concert with a beautiful rendition of the ‘Clare Benediction’. The youngsters charmed the audience with
their talent and joyful enthusiasm and were given a tremendous applause. We look forward to their next visit.
14th MAY PHOTOGRAPHY with DAVID SILVESTER
On Thursday 14th May 2015 we had the pleasure of welcoming David Silvester ASISLP, LSWPP to our club night.
In 1963 aged 6 or 7 years old David received his first camera - a Brownie - and there his passion was stirred. David’s first paid wedding was in 1978. He now has many qualifications and a state of the art studio in Colby. Here he does portraits of families, pets, babies, children and so on, some of which he showed us.These are outstanding and he also shared a few tricks of the trade with us.
David travels the world taking photographs of stunning views in various countries. He is also qualified to head teaching courses abroad and to judge competitions. Magazine features are also among his fortes including Le Mans and the TT - he will be covering the TT this year.
We were shown some lovely shots of models in some very artistic poses. It is obvious how much planning goes into these photo shoots. David kindly invited four of five people to spend a day in his
studio and we were all given a voucher for a photograph.
To finish we were given a fantastic show of his work accompanied by gentle music. The quality was first class and the photographs of cute children, pets, families and brides were outstanding. Questions were invited and nothing was too much trouble for David.
Many of the group were inspired by David’s passion and would like to improve on their own photography. A very enjoyable evening was had by all.
28th May - Musicale
On May 28th our club night enjoyed a concert by Musicale. Eric Quirk introduced the choir with their signature tune ‘It’s a
grand night for singing’. This was very true! This was followed by some familiar songs: ‘Old Mother Hubbard’, ‘Super Trooper’, ‘the Rose’, ‘Blackbird’, ‘You raise me up’
and ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’. Kate gave us a lovely rendition of the ‘Valley of Laughter’. Dave sang ‘Take me Home’ and choir enthralled us with the military wives song ‘In
For fun and amusement there were three poems: the first about a ‘weekend at the seaside’, the next was the ‘Worms Courting’ and finally a skit on the ‘Magna Carta’. David and
Geoff were on form with ‘Bold Gendarmes’, dressed up and holding bread sticks for truncheons!
The evening ended with the beautiful ‘Gaelic Blessing’ and we went on our way with ‘It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got swing’.
A very varied and well thought out programme was delivered for us and we all enjoyed the evening.
9th April 2015 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Our 18th Annual General
Meeting was held on 9th April 2015 with an attendance of 45 members. Jane Bridge, as Chair, opened the meeting
and gave the opening address reminding us that it was she and Trish Lambert who had initiated the founding of the
Manx Stroke Foundation some eighteen years ago. She then presented her Chairman’s report highlighting the work of
the committee over the year and thanking all involved in helping the stroke club to function. The committee has
agreed to continue to support the Stroke Association’s research project on anti-inflammatory drugs and will
donate a further £10,000 this year. This year had been a particularly sad year with the passing of three of our
long-standing and founder members. Derek Lambert, Terry Chilcott and Reg Kelly and Jane echoed all our thoughts
in saying they would be sadly missed. Irene Gardner reported on the audited accounts which remain very healthy,
thanks to Irene and the finance sub-committee as well as the many people and organisations who donate. Strickett
and Moore have agreed to continue to audit the books and the subscriptions will be £5 per year. The committee
members will continue in their roles this year, with the only change being that Les Quayle has agreed to take
the role of vice-chair which has been vacant for a few years. The evening concluded with the usual supper and
lots of conversation.
23rd April 2015 - MANX BUTTERFLY CONSERVATION SOCIETY
On Thursday 23rd April we were pleased
to welcome Garry Curtis from the Manx Butterfly Conservation Society to introduce us to the delightful world of
butterflies. Those of us who are not so knowledgeable were amazed, not only at the number of different types of
butterflies, but also the differences in their life cycles, their habitat, the markings differentiating male
from female and the fact that some migrate from as far South as Africa and can do it in a day!
Garry’s talk was accompanied by lovely photographs taken by local photographers. We had pictures of the reds such as the
Painted lady, Red Admiral and the small Copper which is abundant on the coastal pathway and Glen Maye. There were the blues
of which he showed the Holly Blue which feed on the tops of holly bushes and the Common Blue which you will see on short
turf, feeding on bird’s foot trefoil. The browns include the Wall Brown which you can see sitting on walls and will often
fly in front of you as you walk along but you will notice it comes to a stop where it reaches another male’s territory.
The meadow Brown comes out just about the same time as the Parish walk in late June. Then there is the orange tip (only
the male has an orange tip on the wing), the green-veined white and of course the large and small whites, which devour
our nasturtiums and cabbages.
There are also a few new species coming to the Isle of Man, whether this is due to Global Warming no one knows. The Comma
has a lovely scalloped edge which helps its camouflage but if you look at the underside of the wing you will see a white
marking in the shape of a comma. Other new species are the Speckled Wood and the Brimstone probably due to changes in the
vegetation on the Island in that there is more woodland now and also buckthorn on which the Brimstone feeds. We can look
at butterflies now with a different perspective thanks to a fascinating talk.
Thursday 12th March - Developing Orphans (DO) Pat Wiles
On Thursday 12th March we welcomed Pat Wiles to tell us about her
Charity DO-Developing Orphans. Pat is the daughter of one of our members, Ann Wiles, and she became involved in charity work in Northern Uganda. She told us of ‘life
at the end of the world’s most dangerous road’ and how this particular charity was set up in 2005. Northern Uganda was the site of a bloody, long-running civil war which
ended officially in 2007 but there was rebel activity long after that. The Lord’s Resistant Army (LRA) rebel force committed many atrocities on the local people and at
the end of the war there were many destitute, child headed orphan families in Acholi and Padibe without basic needs of water, food or education. As this part of the
world was so dangerous, charities were unable to venture in to help. Pat has visited many times, initially having to fly there because of the likelihood of attack from
the LRA. A local headmaster asked her for help for the orphan families. The charity has helped 195 children in 63 child headed families (the youngest being only 9
years old looking after his 7 and 5 year old siblings). They built two-roomed houses for each family, cleared and planted an acre of crops and gave 3 chickens and 3
goats to each to help them become self-sufficient. Schools have been built to enable the children to have an education so that they do not remain illiterate peasants.
Pat told us some up-lifting stories of how the children have survived and thrived and continue to do so with the help of the Developing Orphans charity. We were all
very grateful to Pat and there could not have been anyone who heard this talk who was not moved by the stories of these children and their courageous helpers.
26th MARCH - LHON VANE CHOIR
The visit of the Lhon Vane Choir on Thursday 26th March began with a presentation from the
choir to the Manx Stroke Foundation of £250 which had been donated by the choir members and greatly appreciated by the stroke club members. Following this Dr Khuraijam
gave a moving tribute to Terry Chilcott who had died just two weeks previously. Terry was a founder member of the Manx Stroke Foundation and the Treasurer for more than
15 years but he was also the life and soul of every club night. A minute’s silence was held in his memory.
The choir then lifted our spirits with ‘We’ve only just begun’, ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’ and a lively West African song ‘Amani Utupe’. The evening continued with a lovely
selection of old favourites and songs from the musicals such as ‘Love Changes Everything’ ‘It’s a Grand Night for Singing’ and the haunting ‘Seal Lullaby’. Interspersed
amongst these were readings and poems which brought a smile to all! Peta Cubbon, who conducted the choir for this evening, gave us lovely ‘talk-over’ rendition of ‘Child of
the Springtime’ a song she wrote about when children flee the nest. To close they chose a beautiful trio ‘Homeward Bound’, John Russell’s ‘Clare Benediction’ and finally
‘Chariots’. There certainly was something for everyone to enjoy and we hope the choir will entertain us again in the future.
Gaiety Theatre Outing - SISTER ACT -12th February 2015
The Douglas Choral Union’s production of Sister Act proved to be
a big hit with all those members who went along on a cold February night. We were treated to an excellent performance by all the cast with some wonderful ‘gospel’singing.
The staging was fantastic - you really felt that you were in a church and they even managed to make the nuns’ habits look stunning! The show was very uplifting and it
was all we could do to stop ourselves leaving our pews and dancing in the aisles! We will look forward to next year’s production with anticipation.
26th February 2015 - Alexandra Slater
At our club meeting on Thursday 26th February we were pleased to welcome Alexandra Slater
(granddaughter of our friends June and Colin). Alexandra is a 13 year old girl who we had not heard before but, following her fabulous performance, we eagerly await
her promised return in the future. She entertained us with Opera (all in Italian); ‘Pie Jesu’; ‘O my beloved Father’; ‘Nella Fantasia’; ‘O Mio Bambino’ and, finally, a
song from My Fair Lady ‘I could have danced all night’. We were spellbound by Alexandra’s beautiful voice, the emotion, expression and sheer talent of a lovely, young
lady. There were, in fact, a few tears shed by our audience! Without exception we found her singing to be moving and magnificent. We look forward to her return.
FAITH SUPPER 8th January 2015
Having ended our meetings for 2014 with a sumptuous meal, we started our meetings for 2015
with a delicious supper consisting of a variety of sandwiches, sausages rolls, pork pies, vol-au-vents, cakes and mince pies and, of course, a cup of tea or coffee.
There was plenty of conversation around the room but we managed to stay quiet for a short while as Irene gave us a talk on her experiences at the Stroke Club Conference
Irene and Sandie represented our group at the conference for a second time and recommend that others should take the opportunity to go as you will
meet new and interesting people as well as learning a lot about stroke and what is happening in other areas. Of particular interest to Irene was a talk from a
representative of the Swedish Stroke Association and how stroke is managed in Sweden. Irene has information if anyone wants to find out more. They were shown a
film entitled ‘The Possibilities are Endless’ which tells of the experiences of a stroke survivor and his journey following the stroke. Irene has a copy of this
film and we will have a showing of it at one of our club nights. As in December, when we came to leave we found it was pouring with rain again but it did not
dampen our spirits and we went home replete!
VINTAGE SLIDES OF THE ISLE OF MAN JACK KAIGHIN 22nd January
We were pleased to welcome Jack Kaighin on his second visit to our stroke club. He
brought along a wealth of images mostly dating around the 1900’s but he began with some lithographs showing Douglas as a small fishing village hardly recognisable as
the the major port it was to become. The photographs showed Douglas prom before it was extended to include the sunken gardens and also the pier that once reached out
from the bottom of Broadway. Although much has changed over the years there were places and buildings that we still recognise today; the Jubilee Clock in its original
position; the Castle Mona in its heyday surrounded by beautiful gardens; Kirk Braddan with hoards of Sunday worshippers; the Nunnery when King George 5th and Queen
Mary visited. There were also pictures of places and things long gone such as the the red herring houses along Douglas harbour and St Barnabus’ Church; the ferry that
took people across to Battery Pier and the vernicular railway up to the electric railway that took the many visitors to Port Soderick (another place hardly
recognisable now); a paddle steamer at Port St Mary; images of Patrick Isle before the road was built when the only way across was by ferry. Jack told us many
interesting facts one of these being about the first plane to land in the Isle of Man in 1910. It landed in Noble’s Park and was flown by Claude Grahame-White who
went on to make aeroplanes that flew in World War One. There were many more and too many to include here but everyone enjoyed a fantastic journey through times gone
by, seeing how things have changed but also how some have remained the same. We hope very much that Jack will come again with more of his slides.
CHRISTMAS MEAL 11th December 2014
The Wentworth Suite at the Mount Murray Golf Club proved to be a fitting venue for our
Christmas meal. Sixty seven members and guests enjoyed a sumptuous three course meal. For the main course there was a choice of turkey with all its trimmings, salmon
en croute or spinach, red pepper and pine-nut strudel and, it seems, no one was disappointed with their choice. Pete Gardner, once again, played the organ for us and
we had a go at singing a few carols. Our special Christmas raffle raised a fantastic £228 for the Manx Stroke Foundation funds. The highlight of the evening, however,
was the visit of Santa Claus and everyone was presented with a little gift. Despite a rather rainy night everyone went home happy and satisfied.
13th November PEEL AND THE GREAT WAR -Pat Skillicorn
Throughout this year the Nation has been commemorating the start of
the First World War so on November 13th we were very fortunate to welcome Pat Skillicorn to speak to us about how the Great War affected the Isle of Man. Much of her
information came from articles in the newspapers of the time such as the Peel City Guardian. War was declared on 4th August 1914 and on Sunday 9th August almost the
whole population turned out to cheer on a total of 240 fishermen who had been ordered to report as Naval Reservists in Liverpool. Many more were to follow as Lord
Raglan, the Lieutenant Governor at that time, became the Island’s ‘Lord Kitchener’ in encouraging the young men to go to war.
Those left behind also suffered hardship
during those war years. As soon as war was declared eleven boats were requisitioned therefore affecting the import of goods. The months prior to the war had been the
best ever as far as tourists were concerned but the tourist industry came to a standstill not least because because U-boats were operating in the Irish Sea. Those
relying on the tourists lost all their income prospects but, despite this, rates still had to be paid. Food prices rose. People were destitute. The Island also had
to support the internees at Knockaloe. In England the price of flour was subsidised but not in the Isle of Man. Despite the hardship the Lieutenant Governor resisted
any change and there was a lot of discontent. People, such as Samuel Norris, Alfred Teare and William Clucas agitated for social and constitutional reform. A committee
was set up and people could apply for ‘the poor loaf’ but in 1918 this subsidy came to an end. The following day Broadway was filled with workers who came out on
strike and the papers reported that ‘A Soviet has ruled in Douglas’. The next day the subsidy was renewed and later Lord Raglan resigned.
On 11th November 1918
church bells rang out to signal the end of war and again the streets were full of people thankful for the end of a very difficult time for the Island and the world.
This interesting talk gave us insight into the lives of our ancestors and we are extremely grateful to Pat Skillicorn for giving up her time to speak to us.
27th November -REGAL SINGERS
A full house enjoyed a wonderful evening of singing from the Regal Singers. It was ‘A Grand Night for Singing’ and
it was not long before Alan Wilcocks encouraged the audience to participate with ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’, ‘Has anyone here seen Kelly’ and finally ‘It’s a Long Way
to Tipperary and ‘Pack up your Troubles’ both at the same time! It is not clear how many managed to end up on the same song they started with! The programme continued
with a piano duet from Kath and Wendy and lots of Christmas favourites such as ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas’ and ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ (sung as solo
by Harry Galbraith) as well as songs from the musicals. George Davidson and Arthur Cowin really livened up the evening with a fantastic duet of ‘New York, New York’
complete with high kicks and Frank Sinatra hats! The evening finished with ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ and it certainly started everyone’s Christmas time
on a merry note. Sylvia echoed our thoughts in thanking Alan for the arrangement, Wendy McDowell for the piano accompaniment and the choir for giving us a marvellous
9th October WW2 INTERNMENT IN THE ISLE OF MAN ALAN FRANKLIN
The subject of the talk given by Alan Franklin was internment in the Isle of Man during the second world war. Alan’s talk enlightened us
on the hardship not only of the internees but also of the people forced out of their homes in order to accommodate the camps. Thousands of internees were brought to Island daily
and housed in camps in Douglas, Onchan, Ramsey, Peel, Port Erin and Port St Mary. People of German origin living in the UK had to attend a tribunal where they were graded and if
it were decided that they were Grade A (a risk to National Security) then they were interned. Many of those interned were wrongly graded as a risk. Many were Jewish and had
themselves fled to the UK to escape Nazi Germany.
There were also separate camps for Italians and Finns. A large percentage of the internees were released after only a short
time as it was seen that they were not a risk. The Isle of Man Government agreed to hold enemy aliens during WW2 to avoid the hardships experienced during the first world war
when the holiday industry totally ceased leaving those dependent on holiday makers destitute. The small remuneration given to the landlords would offset the losses through lack
of visitors. However those whose houses were requisitioned were given only seven days to vacate the properties and they had to leave all furniture behind. Unfortunately there
was a lot of damage to the properties and the furniture which was often used for carving works of art. At the end of the war when people came to reclaim their furniture items
were missing or of an inferior quality.
Lots of memories were roused and there were a number of questions and comments. One of our members himself told us how his family
were given only three days to find alternative accommodation and how after the war all the furniture his parents had bought new in 1938 was either damaged or missing. It was
a terrible time for his family as it must have been for many others. This was an excellent, informative talk bringing history alive for us.
HALLOWEEN SUPPER October 23rd
On October 23rd fifty five Stroke Club members celebrated Halloween with a lovely hotpot supper at Corrin Court
provided by Niarbyl catering. Once again the members made a fantastic effort to dress for the occasion making it a very difficult task for the judges to choose the best
costume. However we had two very deserving winners in Olive Kerr and Colin Brook. The buzz of conversation and the laughter around the room was evidence that everyone
had a good a time and all went home satisfied, having had a good meal and good skeet.
11th September JON HODKIN’S INNER TUBA TOUR
On Thursday 11th September 2014 we had the pleasure and surprise to welcome Jon
Hodkin to our club night. Jon’s travelling show ‘Inner Tuba Tour’ was inspiring, educational and funny. Jon’s two passions, cycling and music, have been amalgamated
into a wonderful show. He plays the tuba, a conch shell, didgeridoo , horn and ‘hose-pipe’! These instruments all appeared from the red and yellow trailer which attaches
to his trike which also contains everything to sustain him on his travels. Jon struck us with his understanding of disability, was truly inspirational and, most
importantly, made us laugh. We sincerely hope to see him again.
25th September SOAP MAKING; IRENE CANNAN
Soap is something we use everyday but probably not many of us give a thought to how it is made. Irene
Cannan, accompanied by her daughter Jenny, gave us a fascinating talk covering the history of soap, the substances used to produce soap and the scientific calculations
essential to the process. Soap has been with us a long time since at least 2800 BC. The name itself comes from the Sapo hills outside Rome where the water at the foot
hills, where the woman would wash the clothes, became ‘soapy’ through a chemical reaction with the chalky hills. Alkalie (caustic soda) and Acid (sodium hydroxide) are
mixed with oils such as coconut oil, palm oil and olive oil - all in precise measurements. The oils give the soap its ‘bubble’ or lather. Irene even uses silk which
dissolves in the water and soda. The soaps are fragranced with essential oils such as Frankincense and Myrrh. Irene told us of the different properties of oils - for
instance Basil helps concentration, Frankincense is a cell rejuvenator and Lavender helps relaxation (although only in small amounts, too much and it becomes a
stimulant!). The enthralled audience asked many questions and spent some time sniffing all the soaps and oils Irene had brought along to show us. To the delight of
everyone Irene gave each of us a bar of her Frankincense and Myrrh homemade soap. We will all look at soap differently now and probably be a bit more discerning in the
soaps we use.
28th August 2014 Caarjyn Cooidjagh
This was a first visit by Caarjyn Cooidjagh to our stroke club and what a wonderful concert
they gave us. Many of the songs were sung in Manx - some traditional and some composed recently, many of them by Annie Kissack herself. Annie is the choir’s leader and she
interspersed the songs with stories of how they came about. There were tales of bugganes and water spirits, a fishing trip ending in a pub with no beer, a lullaby and a poem
by Mona Douglas set to music by Annie. There were some old favourites such as the Laxey Wheel and Ramsey Town with which the audience could sing along, which they did brilliantly.
Perhaps we should form our own Manx Stroke Foundation choir! As well as the music Phil Gawne gave us a rendition of T E Brown’s ‘The Doctor’ in Manx dialect. This was an
excellent and varied performance and it is hoped that Caarjym Cooidjagh will come again sometime.
Afternoon Tea at Bradda Glen Cafe on August 14th
On Thursday 14th August forty seven members made their way south to Bradda Glen Cafe for Afternoon
Tea. It was gloriously, sunny day and we were able to enjoy the beautiful views across Port Erin bay while tucking in to a sumptuous feast of sandwiches, pork pies,
cream scones and a lovely selection of cakes. There was a buzz of conversation around the room as we caught up with old friends who were able to join us for the
afternoon meeting. Peter Crebbin joined us for the afternoon and we were able to thank Peter for his donation to the Manx Stroke Foundation of more than £5000 which
he has raised over the years by doing the Parish Walk. Peter’s boss, Zawer Hussain, Manager of the Port Erin Cooperative store, was also invited as a guest as a way
of thanking him for his support to Peter in allowing him time to raise these funds. This was an afternoon enjoyed by all.
July 10th Perree Bane Dance Group and Bethany Magee
Ten youngsters from the Perree Bane Manx Dance Group charmed the
audience with a lovely performance of traditional and newly composed Manx Dances. Their ages ranged from 4 years to 11 and most had only joined the group in the last
year yet they managed to demonstrate some quite difficult dances. They were supported with live music from some of the group’s band of musicians. We were also delighted
to welcome back Bethany Magee who sang Ellan Vannin beautifully, bringing tears to our eyes. Then from the sublime, she brought us back to Earth with a comical sketch
which had us all laughing. All in all, Perree Bane and Bethany gave us a very enjoyable and varied evening’s concert.
July 24th Bingo!
The evening started off with Peter Crebbin presenting a cheque to our Treasurer and Geoff Willis. Once again Peter took part in
the Parish Walk and raised the magnificent amount of £2,276 through sponsorship. He has taken part in the walk for the last five years and, so far, has raised £4765
for the Foundation. We are extremely grateful to Peter for thinking of our charity each year. The Parish Walk is not the easiest way of raising money and yet the amount
he raises increases every year. So congratulations to Peter for all he has achieved for the Manx Stroke Foundation.
Then it was on to Bingo!
Unfortunately the resident caller was unavailable on this evening so at great expense Sandie was brought in from Royal Ramsey. Before we could start we needed to know how to
play so two avid Bingo players from the South had to talk us through the rules! We played on 6 cards (not all at the same time) although there was some confusion and one of our
members (who shall not be named) decided to play on a different card to the rest of us. It was, needless to say, an hilarious night. The 25 members who came along hopefully
enjoyed the evening and there have already been calls for another Bingo night!
June 12th Sheeayn Millish Choir
This was the second visit of the Sheeayn Millish Choir, the first visit
was on 31 March 2011 and it is hoped that we do not have to wait another 4 years before we have them along once more to entertain us.
Entertain is an understatement as the concert they presented was outstanding.
They started the night with lively presentations of ‘This Little Light of Mine’ and ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band’ and they continued to enthral members with a superb concert. The
choir consisting of 19 members and of course, the accompanist and conductor, Gareth, all looked extremely smart and it was obvious that they were thoroughly enjoying giving the
concert as much as the members thoroughly appreciated their efforts.
As well as singing our members really appreciated the solo pieces given by 3 of the choir members, a Pam Ayres poem entitled, 50 Shades of Grey!!!!!, a Stanley Holloway amusing
piece and also a very funny presentation entitled ‘Sat Nav’
Near the end the choir sang a marvellous performance of ‘Oklahoma’ and concluded the splendid evening with a lovely rendition of an ‘Irish Blessing’
All in all this was a fantastic evening.
June 26th An Evening with Peter Kelly
On many occasions Peter has brought his slides, photographs and postcards to our club meetings, yet he
still manages to bring new material each time. This evening was no exception with some 281 photographs dating from the 1930s to times a little more modern. We were
treated to scenes of Douglas before the memory of most of us and also before the ‘Health and Safety’ and ‘Hygiene’ police got in on the act as shown in pictures of
builders working high up on the Crescent Cinema with no hard hats or safety equipment or meat carcasses hanging freely outside the butcher’s shop. Many photographs
showed how places used to look, such as Tromode before the Creamery was built, Quarterbridge and Braddan Bridge before they were widened and Lord Street before the flats
were built. Other photographs stimulated lots of memories and acclamations from the audience of ‘Oh, there’s so and so’. There were a number of well known faces such as
Jack Gair with the Deep Sea Scouts, George Formby at the TT Grandstand, Field Marshall Montgomery on Douglas prom in 1948, Joe Loss, Hughie Green with Fenella, Dr
Gardner at the Witches’ Mill, Hattie Jaques and Pam Ayers to name a few. How many of us knew that there is reservoir under Noble’s Park? Or that
the Sea Terminal building is in the shape of the Three Legs of Man? There were so many interesting photographs that it is impossible to give a full account of them all
but everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Dr Khuraijam thanked Peter on behalf of us all and we hope he will return with more stimulating pictures.
May 8th Jane Corkill and her young pupils
Once again Jane’s talented, young pupils treated us to a lovely concert. They all
performed their Guild pieces for which many had achieved distinctions. We heard songs such as ‘Cockles and Mussels’, ‘Have you seen a little dog’, ‘The Old Man of Kilkenny’
and ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ sung with gusto and poise. There were also piano pieces from those studying for Grade 1 and a trumpet solo. The poems, ‘The Magic Cat’ and
‘My Hands’ were delivered with clarity and expression and deserved the applause they received. The evening concluded with the most entertaining raffle we have had up to now
and a few of the girls managed to go home with arms full of chocolates! So we can now look forward to their next visit.
May 22nd Afternoon tea at the Salmon Lake Centre
Although weather was not as sunny as we would have liked we still enjoyed a lovely afternoon outing in Laxey. The room at the Salmon Lake Centre looked so
inviting and the variety of sandwiches and cakes was second to none. The round tables enabled us to have a good chat and we were able catch up with all the skeet. The
staff worked so hard to make sure everyone had plenty to eat and drink. We enjoyed a showing of Charles Guard’s DVD of the Laxey mines even though the sound was a bit
low! A good time was had by all in a lovely setting and no doubt many will try and visit the centre again.
April 10th Duncan Bridges from the Manx Wildlife Trust
Duncan began by telling us about the formation of the Manx
Wildlife Trust some 40 years ago by Deemster Cain and his wife Felicity. The Trust manages many nature reserves around the Island and ensures safe sites for the local
wildlife. However the main topic of Duncan’s talk was ‘Migration’ and he showed us many slides of creatures, great and small. Some of these were non-native creatures
such as the stag beetle that found its way over from a banana factory. Despite its scary look it is really harmless. With imports via planes and boats we get an influx
of different species! There are some that make incredible journeys, like the hummingbird moth which is only one and half inches long and flies 800 miles from Spain
through France to reach us. The eels we see in Silverdale Glen boating lake have come all the way from the Sargasso Sea and stay for a few years until they return to
breed! Many birds such as the corncrake, the swallow and the Manx Shearwater make the journey to and from the Isle of Man and South Africa every year.
We all assume
that the seals we see down at the Sound are all local but there is at least one seal who regularly visits the Island from Strangford Lough- having made the forty mile
journey 5 times and each journey takes 6 hours. We know this because the seal has been tagged with a mobile phone which sends messages back to researchers from
Glasgow University. Some seals swim all the way around the British Isles but who knows why? There are other large mammals in the waters around our shores: bottlenose
dolphin, risso dolphin, harbour porpoise and, the largest of all, the fin whale. A project to research the movements of the basking sharks was started in 2007 and
one of the tagged sharks was found to have gone as far as Newfoundland and had at times reached depths of 900 metres below the surface! There were a number of
comments and questions from the floor. Our new member Rae Spooner told us that 50 years ago she used to swim with dolphins in Port St Mary but they stopped coming
until about 10 or 12 years ago. All in all it was an excellent and very informative talk
April 24th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Our 17th AGM was attended by more than 50 members. The Chairman Les Quayle welcomed everyone and handed over to
our President Dr Khuraijam to give the opening address. Dr Khuraijam reminded us that he had taken over the Presidency from Dr Edgar Mann who sadly passed away last
year. He acknowledged the advice given to him by Dr Mann in the early years to assist in developing services and resources and, in doing this, played a great role in
what has been achieved at the New Hospital. Dr Khuraijam then talked about studies around the world but ended with the message that we should be aware that strokes can
happen to anyone, even babies. Les then presented his Chairman’s Report and added that the committee had developed Criteria for Monetary Grants. Jane Bridge outlined
this policy for the members and answered the few questions.
Our Treasurer, Irene Gardner talked us through the accounts which are still very healthy. It was agreed
that the subscriptions remain at £5. There are changes to the committee this year in that Les stood down as Chairman and Jane Bridge was accepted as the new Chair;
Peter Kelly is to join the committee and this was proposed by Dr Khuraijam
and seconded by Irene Gardner. The meeting decided to continue to support The Stroke
Association Research project and will donate £10,000 again this year. Michael Wood, on behalf of all, thanked Les for his chairmanship of the last four years and
for all the work he has done. Jane commended Irene for stepping into Terry’s shoes and doing such a fantastic job. The evening finished with the usual lovely
March 13th Harry Owens; Beekeeping
Harry Owens came along on the 13th March when he presented an illustrated talk on Beekeeping.The
power point presentation showed detailed images of bees in their hives, how they were able to communicate with each other to advise where pollen could be collected in abundance.
He also explained that the Island beekeepers raised extremely healthy bees compared with the rest of the UK, who for many years had experienced a very serious disease which had
killed millions of bees over the years.Harry informed members that different types of bees had different types of sting and one had a barbed sting and when the bee tried to pull
it out it actually pulled the bees insides out and the bee eventually died.The talk proved to be a very interesting and informative one and members bombarded Harry with many
questions when his talk was over, which Harry answered in detail. He also strongly recommended members to purchase Manx Honey which is second to none.Terry gave the vote of
thanks and told members that he and Harry both commenced Ballakermeen High School in September 1946!!
March 27th The Lhon Vane Choir
This first visit of Lhon Vane choir was much appreciated by everyone who attended. Their lovely pink jackets
brightened the room with colour and their voices filled the room with pleasant music. The programme commenced with ‘You Raise Me Up’ and continued with other favourites
such as ‘The Song of the Manx Crofters’, ‘Love Changes Everything’, ‘The Seal Lullaby’ and ‘Down Town’ . There were entertaining readings and Peta gave a lovely rendition
of ‘I Know Where I’m Going’, whilst the two Vals amused us all with ‘Sisters’. The concert closed with a very moving version of ‘The Clare Benediction’. A wonderful
evening was had by all and we will certainly look forward to another visit from the Lhon Vane Choir.
February 13th The Ramsey Steam Ship Company
Stan Basnett gave a very informative talk on the Ramsey Steam Ship Company which
celebrated its Centenary on 17th April 2013. The company was started by John Thomas Key who owned a coal yard in Ramsey. Freight rates for the coal were very high so he got
together with a group on the island and formed the Ramsey Steam Ship Company. The first boat was the Ben Veg (Manx for ‘little woman’ or ‘wife’) and subsequent boats were
all ‘Ben’ something; Ben Rein - ‘Queen’; Ben Varrey - ‘mermaid’; Ben Vooar - ‘big/fat lady’ and so on. During the first World War demand for material was huge so the fleet
quickly expanded. The first Ben Rein was sunk by a U boat and there was another loss not due to the war -the Ben Seyr (free lady) was lost with all hands when she founded
in a gale on her way to Swansea. The ‘Bens’ traded around the British Isles and Ireland and brought coal to Laxey, Peel, Port Erin and Castletown as well as Ramsey. Over
the years the Bens changed in style and from steam to motor and increased in size which meant they could no longer go to the smaller ports so lost a lot of coastal trade.
But they then went further afield to Europe and Scandinavia. Stan illustrated his talk with pictures of the boats and the people involved. We were able to see how
things have changed - especially with regards to Health and Safety!
Unfortunately in December last year the company was wound up because of difficulties with its pension fund. The last two Bens were sold to a company in Maidstone, Kent.
The end of an era!
February 27th: Musicale
It was ‘A Grand Night for Singing’ and Musicale gave us lovely varied programme of songs and readings. To celebrate the
Island’s Year of Culture they began with a number of Manx items and had everyone singing along to ‘I’m a native of Peel’. There were Gilbert and Sullivan numbers and
a few of Gershwin’s. There was comedy with ‘The Gas Man Cometh’ but also nostalgia and sadness (in memory of the Great War) with ‘Roses of Picardy’ and ‘Soldier Lad’.
Music was resonating in the rafters and, all in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
9th January: Club Supper
Once again we enjoyed a fantastic spread as everyone contributed with superb sandwiches,
sausage rolls, pies and cakes and even a chocolate fudge pudding! Terry took the floor and read out the ‘joke section’ of some of the old Updates so we had an amusing
and tasty evening.
23rd January; Pam, Amy, Bertie and Maya from Paws for Therapy
We were very pleased to welcome Pam and Amy who brought along their dogs, Bertie and
Maya, to tell us about the charity ‘Paws for Therapy’.
The Manx charity ‘Paws for Therapy’ was set up in 2007 because the UK ‘Pets for Therapy’ was unable to be registered on the Island. It has been shown that stroking a dog can
reduce anxiety and blood pressure and is particularly helpful for people who have had a stroke. It is also helpful with people who suffer from depression or have phobias.
People in Residential or Nursing homes can be isolated or may have had to leave a pet behind so a visit from the dogs can break up the day and lighten their spirits. Pam
explained the process for becoming a visiting team. The dog and their owner are a team and they are both assessed for suitability to visit. The dog should be quiet but
able to interact and should not lick or jump on people. The owner should also be able to interact and needs to be a good listener who is prepared to make the commitment.
Teams visit Residential and Nursing homes but also visit children in Rebecca House and the Children’s Centre. They also go to the PHAB club in Cronk y Voddy school.
were a number of questions from the audience and Pam said that they are shortly to introduce cats for the visits. Jane asked about visits to the hospital but unfortunately
this has not been passed by the infection control team but hopefully things may change in the future. The dogs meanwhile sat patiently on the show table and at the end of
the talk they happily mingled with the members bringing a lot of smiles to everyone.
There is only one meeting to report on and that was our Christmas meal on Friday 13th. As a change from the last few years we held the meal at Corrin Court
and Adrian and Jane catered for us. 60 people enjoyed an excellent three-course dinner – melon to start, turkey with all the trimmings for the main and then a fantastic selection of desserts.
All this followed by coffee and mints. It was a very cosy fit in the room but that meant there was plenty of interaction and conversation! Pete Gardner serenaded us with Christmas music
and this enhanced a lovely seasonal atmosphere. We also had a special birthday to celebrate and all were in fine voice to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Pam Collister. Despite the change of
venue and day we were not forgotten by Father Christmas who brought us all presents to light up the room. There was a lovely selection raffle prizes including two wonderfully decorated
Christmas cakes donated by our members and we raised £157. It was a lovely evening and an excellent way to start all the Christmas celebrations.
Roy Kennaugh brought along a selection of slides to illustrate his talk on the Sights and Life on the Isle of Man. From the
first slide showing the sunrise on Cronk ny Arrey Laa to the last one of the sunset in the East, we were enthralled at the beauty of our island. There were slides of snow over the hills
above Kirk Michael, blue bells at Spooyt Vane and some lovely views of the ‘Hidden Valley’, a glen near Druidale which many of us did not know about. Many of Roy’s slides captured moments
now gone into history – such as the days when sheep and cows were driven at leisurely pace through the roads of Kirk Michael or when hay bails were square! He also had pictures of the yellow
gas pipeline scoring a line along the fields and the devastation of fallen trees in the storm of 2005. His slides of various events and celebrations encouraged audience participation as
members recognised people they knew. There was one of the reopening of the Laxey Wheel where everyone dressed up to re-enact the original opening, another of the horse trams in 1996,
another of vintage cars outside the Mitre at Ballaugh and many more. Terry gave the vote of thanks for all us saying he hoped that Roy would come again as we had all enjoyed the evening
A year or two ago Sean O’Connell (pictured in the diving mask)
rtold us about his dive to the Titanic and on this evening he enthralled us once again with his talk about his time as a Police
diver in Ireland. In 1994 after 10 years in the Garda he joined the Police diving team. After an intensive training his work involved clearing up crime scenes in or under water. This could be
looking for weapons, drugs or any proceeds of crime but also recovery of bodies. Very rarely it involved rescue but on one occasion in 1997 he was involved in a rescue on the West coast of Ireland.
Sean showed us a documentary programme that was made for Irish TV in 2008. This gave us some insight into the danger encountered and the extreme bravery of those who carry out rescues. In this case
members of the coastguard, the RNLI, local fisherman and the Police diving team risked their lives and one gave his life to rescue a family trapped 1000 feet in a cave in treacherous water after
the boat they were in capsized. This was such a heroic event that three of the Police diving team, including Sean himself, received the Scott Medal which is the Irish equivalent to the Victoria
Cross. Terry gave the vote of thanks and spoke for us all when he said that watching the film we felt as though we were with them on that night.
The promised concert by the Sheeayn Millish Choir did not go ahead due to unfortunate circumstances.
But all was not lost as we had the opportunity to hear from Sandy and Irene on their attendance at the Annual Stroke Club Conference in Nottingham.
They both attended as many workshops as they could, covering subjects such as alternative therapies, emotional wellbeing, fundraising and awareness
campaigns. Sandy told us about the Laughter Therapy session she attended and how beneficial laughter can be, even helping to reduce pain. One of
the main speeches was on strokes in childhood and the impact on communication, movement and behaviour leading to isolation and bewilderment.
Tim Redfern told them about his 9 year-old daughter who had two strokes but there was little or no support for them. Anna Panton, Child Stroke
Project Manager, explained about a three year project carried out in collaboration between the Stroke Association and Evalina Children’s Hospital
in London. Irene also found out about a Befriending Scheme whereby volunteers visit people in their homes and work out goals. This may be to help
with a hobby or just to have someone to listen. The volunteers are not drivers or ‘babysitters’ but the time they give to people helps to reduce
social isolation, increase confidence and develop social networks. Finally Irene told us about how the Stroke Association is aiming to improve GP’s
awareness of the needs of people with Aphasia (communication difficulty). To do this they have produced cards which people can show to their GP
and also a film has been made and is to be sent to all GP practices in the UK.
To conclude the evening Terry gave us a Quiz and we certainly
have some bright sparks amongst our members! He also managed to take up Sandy’s theme of laughter and with his usual humorous stories had us all laughing. So all in all it was a very therapeutic night.
Once again we held our Halloween supper at Corrin Court and Jane, Adrian and
Margaret cooked up a lovely hotpot and the most delicious puddings (fruit Pavlova, sticky toffee pudding, Bakewell tart and blackberry crumble). It makes your mouth water just
thinking about it! There was a wonderful array of costumes worn; everyone made a fantastic effort to get into
the spirit of the occasion. That made it all the more difficult for our judges, June and Freda, to choose the winners. However choose they did and the second place went to a Liz Wade for
her sparkly witch costume and a well deserved first prize was won by a convincing Dracula, Colin Brooks. Well done to them and all who dressed for the occasion. There were lots of raffle
prizes and a good night was had by all.
September 12th: SAILING FOR THE DISABLED.
The Sailing for the Disabled presentation by Ian McCauley proved to be one of our most popular items on the Programme judging by the vast numbers of members arriving at Corrin Court on a miserable autumnal evening.
More than fifty members saw an illustrated presentation, explaining the ethos and objectives of Sailing for the Disabled, pointing out that every effort is made to encourage disabled passengers to concentrate on what they are able to achieve, rather than what they may have difficulties with.
Operating a “buddy” system on board where each passenger is allocated a crewman/woman means that no one feels left out or struggles to cope, so potential visitors are assured of being taken good care of. All potential visitors are assessed by the charity’s professional crew and are offered the opportunity for a look around Pride of Mann before deciding to commit to a sail.
There is comfortable below-deck accommodation for when things become too lively for visitors to stay on deck and all necessary waterproof and safety clothing is provided. Sailing times vary from hours to days, some journeys travelling north as far as the Crinon Canal in Scotland and west to Ireland.
Any Stroke Club members who feel they would like to have a try at sailing are urged to contact Sailing for the Disabled on 812121 for an initial enquiry or visit
www.sftd-iom.com for more information.
We were pleased to welcome Ian Quayle and other members of the Baldrine Methodist Church to the Stroke Club on this night. They kindly presented a cheque for £560, the proceeds of a concert held by them.
September 26th: FLORA AND FAUNA ON THE CALF OF MAN
Exactly one year ago Des Robinson had us all enthralled with his talk about
the buildings on the Calf of Man and he did so again with this presentation about the flora and fauna. The Calf may seem treeless and deserted when
viewed from the Sound but his slides showed an abundance of colour and wild life: damsel flies, moths, butterflies, many bird varieties (swallows,
linnets, choughs, Manx shearwaters, owls, hen harriers to name a few). Then there are the seals, rabbits and the Loaghtan sheep. In the hollows
trees are taking hold and around the farmhouse are beautiful fuchias, honeysuckle and a Manx cottage rose. In spring and summer the Calf is carpeted
in colour – the bluebells in May, followed by the seapinks and then the purple heather. The mill pond is home to some beautiful water lilies as well
as damsel and dragon flies. Des’ humorous commentary and tales of his work on the Calf kept us all amused - the evening just passed by too quickly!
Our congratulations went out to Rene and Peter Brew on their 50th wedding anniversary recently. They did not want any presents but, very
generously, asked people to donate to two charities, one of which was the Manx Stroke Foundation. We are very grateful to them for the donations
which so far total £325. So thank you from all of us!
On August 8th Charlotte from the Apple Orphanage came along to tell us about the project that she and Will Faulds started
three years ago. It started as a hobby juicing a few apples and then family and friends brought them more. Within a few months they were inundated
with tons of apples. There were many varieties all locally grown and most not available in the supermarkets. All are checked by hand and the juices
they make are all quite different in colour as well as taste. People would bring apples and take away bottles of juice or cider. Charlotte told us
how they planted an orchard using very little machinery but a lot of hard work.
Their business has now grown and they produce cider, apple juice
and Keshal (a ‘champagne-like drink) as well as presses made from other fruits such as rhubarb, gooseberry, grapes and pears. The Prince of Wales,
who visited last year, was so impressed with their orchard and the Manx varieties of apple that he has ordered 200 trees for his own orchard in
Highgrove. We all enjoyed a tasting session and it went down very well! It was an excellent illustrated talk and everyone learnt a lot about apples
as well as being amazed at the ingenuity and determination of this hard-working couple.
Instead of an evening meeting on the 22nd August members enjoyed an afternoon tea at Douglas Golf Club. The afternoon tea was originally
arranged to visit the Pavilion Restaurant in Laxey Glen Gardens but a few days before the 22nd August, David & Joan established that the restaurant
had been closed by the Department of the Environment. Thinking caps were immediately put on and 36 members thoroughly appreciated a scrumptious
afternoon tea at the Douglas Golf Club. Naturally we thank David and Joan for sorting out the problem so promptly and efficiently.
Our Chairman, Les Quayle welcomed members at the start mentioning the fact that two new members, Malcolm & Audrey Stanway had joined us for the tea,
It was great to see Fred & Joan Powell among us and we hope to see them again in the not too distant future. The afternoon was a great success, as it
could have been a disaster, if we had all turned up at Laxey Glen Gardens and found the place closed. Once again we thank David & Joan for their vigilance.
Juana Warburton came along on the 11th July and gave a comprehensive talk supported by a power point presentation on the
Isle of Man Children’s Centre. Members were amazed at the work this well established Charity undertook. Juana explained the history of the charity in
the first place and then went on to the present day operations. They manage 5 residential Homes for children of all ages experiencing family problems
at home, they also run a farm with a couple of donkeys, a couple of pigs, rabbits to name a few animals. The young children assist with the feeding,
cleaning and grooming of the animals, naturally the children thoroughly enjoy this experience as more than likely they have never come so close to
such animals before arriving at the farm. They have recently merged with the Isle of Man Adoption Society and now are responsible for arranging
adoptions here on the Island; the fact that they have 180 staff plus volunteers shows the extent of their commitments to the Island community.
Before Juana’s presentation Peter Crebbin presented a cheque to the value of £1403, being the sponsorship he raised when he took part in this year’s Parish
Walk. A simply fantastic effort and the Foundation thanks Peter most sincerely for thinking of us once again this year.
We believe this is Peter’s fourth year taking part in the Parish Walk for our benefit and over these 4 years he has raised £2824.00
On the 25th July the extremely popular Regal Singers arrived at Corrin Court and once again members were enthralled with the marvellous concert the choir presented. The choir sang about a dozen numbers and members knew them all with several seen foot-tapping in time with the music. In addition we had duets from George Davidson and Arthur Cowley and the husband and wife team of Ann & Peter Fletcher. Wendy and Kath played fast moving piano duet. The concert also featured solos by Kath Shooter and Harry Galbraith, who also acted as compere in place of regular compere and conductor, Alan Wilcocks. Alan is recuperating from a spell in hospital, but it was great to see him among the Basses in the choir.
The choir then very kindly joined in an extra number when they assisted Amanda with the song, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
Once again we thank the Regal Singers for finding the time to come along and entertain us so royally. We also thank them for their support to our valuable raffle! And we are aware that some of the choir bring along prizes as further support.
June 13th Nicola Preece: Physiotherapy and Stroke
Physiotherapist Nicola Preece gave us an interesting overview of physiotherapy from the acute stage following stroke to the rehabilitation stage. She then
told us about the Stroke Association’s exercise group with which she is involved. The many benefits of exercise include maintaining fitness and function,
improving mood and confidence and reducing falls. There were many questions from the floor and many members were interested in the referral route for
June 27th Gareth Moore and Kay Harker
Dr Khuraijam commenced the evening with congratulations to Terry on his BEM, echoing all our thoughts on how proud we are of him. He then introduced Gareth
and Kay who gave us a wonderful performance. It began with a rousing rendition of the Entertainer and continued with a lovely selection of music and songs.
Kay enthralled us all with her singing whilst Gareth’s playing was magnificent. We certainly look forward to another visit from them.
May 2nd ‘Coffee and Cake’ afternoon
We had a very enjoyable extra get-together at Peel Golf Club to launch the ‘Action on Stroke’
Month. This coincided with Betty Magee’s 91st birthday and it was lovely that she could join us on this occasion.
May 9th An Evening with the Stars: Howard Parkin
This wonderful talk by Howard would have been better titled ‘Mann in Space’ as he covered the relevance of Space and the heavenly bodies to the
Isle of Man from prehistoric to modern times. Even the Three Legs of Man are ‘chasing the sun’ from East to West. The Manx name for the Milky Way
is ‘ Raad Mooar Ree Gorry’ which means the ‘Great Way of King Orry’ as the stars were used to guide him to Mann. Bishop Barrow (after whom the
Barrovian Hall in King William’s School is named) studied astronomy and his nephew was no less than Sir Isaac Newton. Today there are many companies
in the Isle of Man involved in the space industry contributing to our economy. The International Space University in Zurich has only one department
away from the Zurich campus and that is here in the Nunnery. The astronaut Natalie Stott is married to Manxman Chris Stott and they maintain links
with Howard and others on the island. With our dark skies we have many sites suitable for astronomical study. All in all, it was a very
interesting and informative evening.
May 19th Garden Party at Ward 20
It was good to see a number of people take advantage of another ‘extra’ get-together for Action on Stroke Month. There was a lovely selection of
cakes with tea or coffee on hand. There was also the opportunity to see what services and activities are available to us all i.e. Sailing for the
Disabled, the Live at Home Scheme, Crossroads for carers as well as the therapies. Clare had also brought a selection of the Brushstrokes artwork
which was really impressive.
May 23rd Outing and Meal at Douglas Golf Club
Forty three of us sat down to a very enjoyable meal at the Douglas Golf Club. The premises there provided a lovely setting for our spring outing
with plenty of room to move about and socialise with everyone. Terry gave the vote of thanks to the hosts and also a toast to Brian and Jean Jones
on their 55th wedding anniversary. Many congratulations to them!
April 11th Sing-a-long with Pete Gardner
Our thanks go to Pete for playing for us and leading a lovely evening of singing. Whilst we may not make the grade as the next choir of the year, we all
enjoyed singing along to the old songs. And who would have thought there were so many songs that we knew! So now you’ve all had a practice, next time we’ll
try some harmonies!
We were pleased to welcome new members who joined us on this evening: Colin and June Brooks and Evelyn Denver whose husband Peter will hopefully join us next
April 25th Annual General Meeting
There was an excellent turnout to our Annual General Meeting with 54 members as well as the
Committee and President, Dr Khuraijam. Our Chairman, Les Quayle opened the meeting, thanking everyone for coming and then handed over to Dr Khuraijam
to chair the AGM. Dr Khuraijam spoke about the changes in stroke services over the years and how things had changed in Noble’s over the years.
Ten years ago the Consultants had to search for stroke patients as they could be on any ward but now we have a Medical Assessment Unit and a
dedicated stroke ward. In the last year a Stroke Specialist Nurse has been appointed and we are well on our way to reaching National aims to see
and begin treatment for stroke patients within 30 minutes of onset of symptoms. He also discussed the research programme that the Foundation
supported last year (devices to extract clots from occluded arteries) and suggested that this year we support a programme looking at ‘the
effect of blood pigments on brain inflammation and survival of nerve cells’.
The meeting continued with the previous year’s minutes
being passed and the Chairman’s report accepted. Our Treasurer, Irene gave her report and, as the finances are still healthy, it was voted
to continue to support research and donate £10,000 to the Stroke Association Research projects. Subscriptions are to remain at £5 per person for
the next year. Irene has been speaking to people who are willing to take over the auditing of the books next year and she will bring her findings
to the next committee meeting. There will be no change in the Officers on the Committee or of the Committee members and so all were voted back en
bloc. In ‘Any Other Business’ Clare Wilson told the members about the plans for ‘Action on Stroke Month’ and Sharon Craine
introduced Jill Horsey, the recently appointed Stroke Specialist Nurse, and thanked her for attending the meeting. Finally Irene thanked Terry for
his help over the year and for all the work he did for the Foundation whilst on the Committee. The Committee have found out this year just how
much work he did! The meeting was followed by an excellent supper provided by the members.
March 14th Jane Corkill and her young pupils
We are very grateful to Jane and her pupils for coming along at short
notice to entertain us. What a wonderful night it was too. The pupils ages ranged from 7 years to 13 and all the children were preparing for exams or for
the Guild. We were treated to piano pieces and a variety of songs as well as a poem ‘Lewis has a Trumpet’ which had us all laughing. Jane has certainly
harnessed a lot of talent and we look forward to their next visit.
March 28th Jan Farrell: the Live at Home Scheme
The first Live at Home Scheme was set up on the Island in 1999 and has now grown to include 6 schemes involving 400 members and 400 volunteers. Our
speaker, Jan Farrell, is Manager of the South Douglas Scheme which was set up one year ago. Jan gave us an overview of the history of the Live a t Home
scheme from its beginning in the UK. She also told us what the scheme provides – that is, friendships for those who feel lonely or isolated for whatever
reason. This includes weekly visits on a one to one basis from a volunteer, lunch clubs, men’s groups and reminiscent groups. But it is geared towards the
individual members’ needs. Jan gave us a very enlightening talk and answered many questions from the floor. To close the evening Terry had us all laughing
by reading some of the jokes from previous Updates (some are included in this Update – you can’t have too much of a good thing!).
February 7th Gaiety Outing
This year’s outing took us to the Douglas Choral Union’s production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. There was plenty of whooping and hollering and
swirling petticoats to set our toes tapping to some old favourites. A good night was had by all.
February 28th An Evening with Peter Kelly
Once again we were privileged to welcome Peter to our club night to entertain, test our memories and educate us with a selection of photographs of scenes from the 1960’s to more recent times.
There were pictures of businesses now long gone and some showing them in the process of being demolished. These included the Strand Cinema (Flea Pit), The Knitting Factory in Athol Street & Athol Garage in Hill Street with Peter recalling the names of those who ran them or worked there. Our memories were put to the test when a new picture was screened and Peter asked if anyone could identify the scene, the members had limited success!! The ‘Old Grey’ cells again. To lighten the evening Peter interspersed pictures from his and his mates’ teenage years including a poster-bedecked van that was used to ‘kidnap’ young ladies from the Douglas Carnival crowd - maybe this is how he met Ruth!
On behalf of the members present, Terry gave the vote of thanks
for a most entertaining evening.
We were joined by Danny Mahoney who had raised £275 in
memory of Katie Edge by being sponsored to undergo a gruelling
13 mile obstacle course called the ‘Tough Mudder’. This included running through fire, being submerged in ice cold water and, if that
was not enough, being electrocuted. The course was designed by the British Special Forces so if you fancy taking part next year get your name down and start training now (our very own ex-Marine Dave Dow would be happy to advise!). Our Treasurer Irene was not able to attend but the ladies organised a successful raffle to raise sufficient money to pay the rent.
10th January: Club Supper
Our first meeting of 2013 was the first anniversary of our meetings at Corrin Court and, as in January 2012, we had a superb feast. Everyone turned up
with something: there was a variety of sandwiches, cakes, sausages rolls, and pies – a delight for all! Terry entertained us with readings of wise words
that he had come across – one which reminded us that in years gone by, although we didn’t talk about ‘green issues’ or ‘recycling’, people didn’t waste much
at all, as they do today! Les thanked everyone for their contributions and a good night was had by all (even Sylvia, Geoff, Myrtle and Clare who had to have
a picnic at home as their taxi got the time wrong!).
24th January: Les Shires: Men in Sheds/ Expedition to Everest
Although a number of people have come to tell us about their experiences on Everest, this talk by Les was certainly different. He first of all told us
about his work as coordinator of Men in Sheds. Many of us had heard about this project but few of us knew what it was about. The concept started in Australia
and ‘Sheds’ have since been set up in the UK, Ireland, Europe, Uganda and Port Erin. Men have more difficulty than women adjusting to retirement and this
project gives men a place to go and something to do. Some of the projects undertaken in the Port Erin shed have included making a vehicle for the Port Erin
Soap Box Derby and also making items such as bird boxes, planters and stools – all sold through Crossroads charity on Bucks Road. However, the main aim is
to have fun. But what is the connection to Everest? Well, in doing the trek, Les raised £2185 for Men in Sheds and £60 for Samaritans. He showed us some
beautiful views of the mountains and told us of the exciting and also some scary moments of the trip (such as the suspension bridges and the runway ending
in a sheer drop!). Unfortunately his trekking partner became ill so he was unable to complete the journey to Everest base camp but it was some achievement
even so. Dr Khuraijam gave the vote of thanks telling us that although he came from within a few hundred miles of Nepal he has never yet had the opportunity
to go there himself. We all agreed that it had been an enlightening and entertaining evening.
Our programme for 2012 finished on a high as we celebrated Christmas in style at the Peel Golf Club on the
6th December. The staff at the golf club pulled out all the stops to decorate the room, and our tables,
beautifully and 64 members enjoyed a lovely meal in good company. Michael Wood said grace, reminding us of
those less fortunate than ourselves which prompted our member, Olive Kerr, to show us a poem she wrote
nearly 40 years previously which Michael read out. The evening was made even more special with the
background music played by Pete Gardner and later he played carols for us to sing along to. But the
highlight of the evening came when Santa arrived to give us all our lovely presents. He was ably
assisted by our own little elf, Tia. All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening.
8th November: Travels in South America
We are very grateful to Sonja, Wendy and Magdalena for coming along and sharing their experiences of their travels in South America. In total eight
family members set off in September 2010 for a fantastic and varied journey through South America. Their party included Sonja’s three children:
11 year old Lauren, 6 year old Ben, and Charlie who celebrated his 4th birthday in Bolivia. The schools were happy for the children to go as such an
experience is an education in itself – but it didn’t stop Sonja bringing a sack of schoolwork for them to do on the long bus journeys through the
country! It was an education for us too -the photographs showed amazing views of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, including the city of Machu Picchu which
was awe inspiring even on the photographs – how fantastic it must have been to be there. We saw the lovely colourful clothing that people wear and
also lots of photographs of the wildlife including condors, alpacas, llamas and huge tortoises. The intrepid wanderers managed a trip to the Galapagos
Islands and later spent Christmas in the Amazon. It really did seem to be the trip of a lifetime!
22nd November: The Regal Singers
The Regal Singers never fail to give us a fabulous performance and this night was no exception. It certainly was a ‘Grand Night for Singing’ inside
if not a particularly grand night outside. They gave us a fantastic selection of songs including ‘The Rhythm of Life’, ‘We’ll gather lilacs’ and ‘Love
is the sweetest thing’. Feet were tapping away to the ‘Mexican hat dance’ and the ‘Jurby Mice Polka’. Wendy McDowell, once again, accompanied them
on the piano. The finale, the ‘Top of the World Medley’, left us all feeling just that.
11th October: His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor Adam Wood
The visit of the Governor was an eagerly awaited evening and a large attendance was expected, however ‘Mother Nature’ was not on our side with one of
the wettest days on record which prevented many who wished to attend deciding not to make the journey in such atrocious conditions. This included our
regulars from Port Erin and Port St Mary with Keith travelling as far as Castletown and making the wise decision to abort the mission and return his
passengers to the safety of their homes.To allay any nerves, and to relax those who had attended, Terry took to the stage as a warm up act and soon had
everyone amused with a selection of his jokes (at no expense to the club!).
The Governor arrived promptly at 7.45 pm and was welcomed by Ian Cooil the Chief Executive of the Manx Blind Welfare Trust and then by our President,
Dr Khuraijam and our Chairman, Les, followed by members of the committee.
His Excellency had chosen “Anniversaries” as the theme for his talk and had identified quite a surprising number of famous occasions centred around
October, many involving the 11th and stretching back to the 1960’s. He also talked about his varied career serving around the world in the Diplomatic
Service and especially in Kenya where he was involved in their elections at a time when there were hostilities between the different parties and he
hoped that their forth coming elections would pass peacefully. All in all it was a most interesting talk and was interspersed with jokes giving a light
mood to the evening. His talk drew to an end much too soon for some and then our very own Peter Kelly M.B.E., a past Master of the vote of thanks,
stepped up to give a comprehensive ‘thank you’ on behalf of us all, while the tea ladies dispensed the usual tea and biscuits to all.
His Excellency broke away from the top table and began circulating small groups of members, engaging them in conversation which was appreciated by all.
In fact, no one had a bad word to say afterwards, all judging the evening to have been a great success.
As a measure of our appreciation to His Excellency, President Doctor Khuraijam presented him with a hard-backed book of Manx watercolours entitled
‘Gold-Dust and Calm’ by Robert Edwards Creer (1875-1914) as a permanent reminder of his time in the Isle of Man, which he obviously loves.
25th October: Halloween Supper
Corrin Court proved to be an excellent venue for our Halloween supper. 50 members, in various scary costumes, sat down to a sumptuous hotpot followed
by a superb selection of puddings (pavlova, sticky toffee pudding, apple pie, crumble...mmm!), with coffee and mints to finish. Thank you to Jane and
Sharon who donned their pinnies to serve us all with a smile, and to Adrian, Jane and Margaret who, once again, pulled out the stops to provide such a
13th September: Music, Song and Manx Dancing
The youngsters from Perree Bane Dance Group gave us a lovely concert. The girls, Helena, Ailish, Laoise, Lucy and Ester, danced a number of dances,
some of which you may remember from your own youth. They were excellently accompanied by Owen and David Williams on the accordion and drum. 11
year-old Owen also played solos on the whistle and cornet – he certainly has a musical talent and is one to watch out for in the future. Bethany Magee
entertained us with songs from the shows giving a comical performance which all enjoyed. All in all, it was very pleasant evening.
27th September: Des Robinson; Buildings on the Calf of Man
Most of us have lived on the Isle of Man for many years (or all our lives) but not many have had the opportunity to venture over to the Calf of Man.
Our guest speaker, Des Robinson, remedied that by giving a wonderfully illustrated talk on the Calf. Although primarily he told us about the buildings
(the farmstead, the lighthouses, the mill and the water-well, Jane’s cottage and the four harbours) the views he showed us and the tales he told,
filled us with awe of the place. He called it a ‘time capsule’ as there is so much still there to give us an idea of how times were (and still are)
on that peaceful place. Peter Kelly gave the vote of thanks and summed our gratitude.
2nd August: St German’s Handbell Ringers
Louise Horsfall and her team of six handbell ringers certainly did ‘Ring the Changes’ and gave us a very pleasant evening’s entertainment.
Louise gave us a history of the bells, which were returned to St German’s Cathedral from Marown Church where they were found in 2008.
The bells were restored at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London and, having taught themselves, Louise’s team first performed in 2010.
Their performance for us consisted of well known pieces such as ‘Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring’, ‘Channel of Peace’ and ‘Clair de Lune’ as well
as Manx tunes such as ‘Laxey Wheel’ and ‘Ellan Vannin’. They were ably assisted in some of these by the ‘Manx Stroke Foundation Ensemble’ making
a cacophony of sound never experienced before! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening and the ringers gave us some of the sweetest music we’ve heard
– that is until the rest of us got our hands on the instruments!
16th August: Train Trip and Afternoon Tea
The weather was kind to us for our train trip to Castletown. We sat back and enjoyed the view from the carriages as we chugged along – it is
always good to see the Island from a different perspective! Forty of us then met up at The Viking in Castletown to refresh ourselves on a delightful afternoon
tea. It was a successful outing and gave us a nice change for our club meeting.
30th August: Manx Landladies and the Hotel Inspector
Our guest speaker was Kirsty Neate from Manx National Heritage who gave us an illustrated talk with extracts from MNH’s audio files of local hoteliers,
landladies and visitors and also some amusing stories from the Tourist Board Hotel Inspector in the 1970’s. These oral recordings were made in 2000 but
recalled events dating from the 1930’s. David Dow gave the vote of thanks conveying how much all of us has thoroughly enjoyed this presentation.
We were pleased to welcome Peter Crebbin to this meeting as, once again, he donated his Parish Walk sponsorship money of £380 to the Manx Stroke Foundation.
This is the third time he has presented his sponsorship money to the Stroke Foundation making a total £1320. We were also given £550 from Maggie Traynor
on Ward 7 in Noble’s Hospital, who also did the Parish Walk. Thank you to both Peter and Maggie for your tremendous efforts on our behalf.
July 19th – Quiz night
Eight teams competed for the Manx Stroke Foundation Quiz of the Year! All showed a great knowledge of the Olympic Games, the Royal family and general
knowledge as well as literature and Manx monuments. Even our tee-total table got full marks for ‘Name the Pubs’! The marks were very close but we
are pleased to say that our Chairman’s team won the prize (a box of chocolates), just beating our ex-Treasurer’s team by one point. Well done everyone!
Hopefully no one turned up on 7th June – there was no meeting as it was TT week.
June 21st – The Manx Voices Choir
We have had many choirs entertaining us on our Club nights and it is great to add a new choir to our list. Manx Voices (formerly the Manx Girl’s Choir)
gave us a truly wonderful performance and managed to bring warmth and sunshine to a cold and wet Midsummer’s evening. Their varied programme included
spirituals, the Manx Lullaby and Ellan Vannin along with their winning Guild entries.
There were a number of popular songs including ‘Wherever you are’
which was every bit as moving as the Military Wives choir rendition. This variety had us feeling relaxed one moment and roused the next, joyful and
then reflective. It was a wonderful evening and left us all wanting to ‘Rise up Singing’
May 10 – Phil Drowley
Over the years the club has enjoyed many interesting evenings with
presentations of guests’ worldwide travel adventures. We have been taken to the depths of the ocean to see the wreck of the Titanic and this evening
we went to the other extreme: the summit of Mount Everest. Phil has the distinction of being the first Manxman to reach the summit. He started by
saying that his presentation would take approximately one hour and if any of the members fell asleep he would wake them up at the end and ask questions!
However this was not necessary as his story proved to be enthralling. From starting in the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal to base camp at the
foot of Everest, each day they had to acclimatise to the altitude.
Eventually, after long delays, his party was given permission to attempt the summit,
starting in the middle of the night so as to reach the summit and return before nightfall, which they achieved. The pictures showed the beauty of the
mountains but also the hazardous terrain they had to overcome on the climb. Phil had already climbed five of the highest peaks on different continents
leaving only one more to get the ‘Full Set’. All in all, it was a most interesting evening. Peter Kelly, in his vote of thanks, said that when Phil
retired from the Police he would be well qualified to work for a certain double glazing firm ‘E-----t’.
May 24 – Breagle Glen Outing
Our spring evening out was blessed with perfect weather with forty club members making the journey south to the Breagle Glen. We had not been there
for a couple of years and it is now under new management. The meals were excellent with all the menu choices being enjoyed by the diners with a good
atmosphere and plenty of laughter. Peter & Rene, on behalf of the club, had hired a mini bus from 4 Hire which was used to bring some members down to
enjoy the evening. However several people, who had planned to come, were unable to join us owing to health problems including Terry who was most
disappointed to miss this occasion. Hopefully all those wishing to attend the next trip (the train trip to the Viking in Castletown in August) will
be fit to do so.
On 12th April John Riley kindly came along and presented an illustrated power point show on the work he and many of his friends run an Island
charity to help a small village in Nepal, called Pokhara.
John gave an introduction first explaining how he first became interested in this work when he was Headmaster at St Thomas’s school. The children and
parents held events to raise funds for the
Inhabitants. These pictures made members very aware of the good life we lead and take for granted compared with the life lead in this small village.
You could say it was a real eye opener as more than likely members were not aware that such places existed. After John’s presentation it was announced
that our raffle proceeds would be donated to John for the charity. The sum of £87.00 was raised and presented to him. Naturally John was delighted and
thanked everyone for their generosity.
The Annual General Meeting was held on the 26th April when to the great satisfaction of the committee 46 members attended. Les Quayle, our Chairman
welcomed members to the meeting expressing satisfaction that so many turned up despite the weather and the inconvenience of road closures. Les then
invited our President, Dr Sam Khuraijam to say a few words and Dr Sam said how pleased he was on the report received from the Stroke Association
regarding the research project we had supported last year. He then advised members of the research project selected by the committee, which he totally
agreed for this years grant namely, ‘Pilot trial of devices to extract clots from occluded arteries.’ Les then went through the agenda reasonably
quickly as the minutes of the last AGM, the Chairman’s report had been circulated to members previously and were both passed by the meeting after a
few further details had been added by Les.
Before the Treasurer gave his report the Chairman called for a short break and then reminded the meeting
that this meeting was our Treasurer’s last meeting having decided to retire after 15 years. He then presented Terry with numerous gifts which
overwhelmed Terry leaving him speechless. However he recovered and thanked all members for the beautiful and generous gifts. He then went quickly
through the audited accounts which were passed by the meeting having been circulated a few weeks earlier.
The next business discussed was the election
of officers. The Chairman then informed the meeting that as well as Terry standing down Ed Kelly had also indicted that he was standing down but was
happy to remain as Webmaster much to everyone’s relief. Sylvia Willis and David Dow volunteered to replace Terry and Ed so the officers for the
coming year were elected as follows:-
Naturally our President remains as Dr Sam Khuraijam.
The subscription stays at £5.00 and Terry advised members that our Auditor, Mr Jim Cowell was willing act as Auditor for coming year but would then
retire having filled the position for 16 years.
After the AGM members thoroughly appreciated a terrific club supper with party pies, sausage rolls, sandwiches and cakes with, off course, a choice
of tea or coffee. Once again the committee thank the ladies concerned in providing such an enjoyable supper, most sincerely for their efforts.
March 01 – John (Dog) Callister
Once again club members met at our new venue the Manx Blind Welfare, Corrin Court, Onchan. John was introduced by his fellow Kirk Michael resident
our secretary Irene Gardner. With Irene very skilfully operating the slide projector John presented an extremely interesting selection of slides
showing Manx wild flowers from around the island, these were most colourful and included some examples of rare specimens that only a dedicated person
would know where to find. To accompany the slides John named them in both Manx and English with some of them having been given different names depending
on their Island location. The vote of thanks on behalf of the members present was given by Peter Kelly in his usual humorous manner. The evening
concluded with the raffle, the tickets having been sold by Sylvia Willis who also conducted the raffle for which we thank her and am sure our
treasurer will be pleased with the proceeds.
March 15 – Peter Kelly -
Sean O’Connell was the scheduled speaker according to the Programme of Events but unfortunately for family reasons he was unable to attend.
However Ed Kelly managed to persuade his Dad, Peter Kelly to stand in at short notice. Peter presented a marvellous show of slides showing mainly the
1960’s and 1970’s. The slides were in spectacular colours and brought back memories to many of our members. Peter’s very amusing commentary on the
slides added to the presentation and had members in tucks of laughter. We thank Peter for an excellent evening and thank him again for standing in
at short notice in this emergency.
Members were delighted to see Fred Powell at our meeting and looking so good. Fred was accompanied by his future daughter-in-law Louise. Many members
recall Fred but new members will be interested to learn that Fred was on our committee for many years serving as Secretary for quite a few years and
also acting as Assistant Treasurer whilst Terry was recovering from illness. His prowess on the computer was greatly appreciated by the committee
especially Terry. Great to see you Fred and we hope to see you regularly in the future.
March 29. - Eleanor Shimmin -
Eleanor Shimmin and her friends entertained us on the 29 March and what a super evening it turned out to be. Eleanor brought along five friends
namely, in alphabetical order, Olivia Black, Eliot Booth, Jenny Derbyshire, Terence Qualtrough and Tim Riley. Members thoroughly appreciated a
superb concert including piano solos by Elliot, piano duets by Elliot and Eleanor then solos by Olivia, Jenny, Tim and Terence all accompanied by
Eleanor, The solos were followed by a couple of duets by Olivia and Terence and their rendition of the duet from Phantom of the Opera was absolutely
fantastic and greatly appreciated by members. We thank Eleanor for coming along once again and bringing such talented performers to entertain us.
On 2nd February we welcomed back one of the most sought after choirs on the Island, namely The Regal Singers and we thank them very much indeed
for fitting us in their busy schedule.
Needless to say they presented to the 48 members in attendance a fantastic concert. There were 22 choir members, conducted by Alan Wilcocks and the
accompanist was Wendy McDowell. Both Alan and Wendy have been in the Island’s music world for many years and are very highly respected.
The concert was great; naturally we had many items by the whole choir intermingled with solos by Kath Shooter, Harry Galbraith and Arthur Cowley.
Members also enjoyed a duet by George Davidson and Arthur Cowley and a fast and furious piano duet by Wendy and Kath Blackburn
The entire evening was thoroughly enjoyed by club members and it is hoped that we will have the pleasure of having them again in the not too
distant future. Update understands that our Treasurer, what’s his name, was delighted with the raffle proceeds.
30 members went to the Gaiety Theatre on the 16th February and watched a brilliant performance of MISS SAIGON, magnificently performed by the
Douglas Choral Union. All the members who watched the performance agreed it was fantastic and the helicopter scene near the end was outstanding.
After the show the cast came into the stalls and chatted with members we congratulated them on their performances and their Chairman, Alex Toohey
who had a major part in the show thanked us for our support over the last ten years. Alex arranged with Terry for our charity to take an exit collection
on Monday 13th February.
Terry was delighted with the total collected, £431.17. Our Treasurer extends his grateful thanks to the collectors who assisted him on the night,
namely, Sharon Craine, Tia Wright, Joan Powell and Mary and Les Quayle.
Our first meeting in January was on 5th January and this first meeting coincided with the first meeting at Corrin Court, the premises of the Manx
Blind Welfare Society, who initially agreed to let us use their premises for January, February and March of this year whilst alterations and
improvements were carried out at Masham Court. However members were so pleased with Corrin Court that it was decided to ask the Manx Blind Welfare
Society if they accommodate us for the full year.
The committee are delighted to advise members that this request was agreed and consequently members should carefully note that ALL FUTURE
MEETINGS THIS YEAR WILL BE HELD AT CORRIN COURT unless otherwise stated.
The meeting on the 5th was our usual Faith Supper. Our Chairman asked Mr Ian Cooil, the Chief Executive Officer of the MBWS to say a few words. He
said how happy he was to welcome the Stroke Club to Corrin Court explaining the layout of the premises and pointing out fire exits etc.
(Health & Safety in action) Then our own Chairman, Les Quayle welcomed members to our first meeting in 2012 thanking the ladies for preparing the
sandwiches and cakes which he could see at the other end of the room.
A general chat then took place with members suggesting several possibilities for speakers and entertainers for the July to December period.
After the chat members then enjoyed the supper prepared by many lady members of the club, sandwiches and cakes of all varieties, including a
beautiful Christmas cake soaked in brandy. There was a good supply of delicacies and most members went home with a goody bag. It was a great
first meeting for the year in fantastic comfortable new premises. Update has been requested to sincerely thank all the ladies who so kindly catered
for the night which made it such a memorable one.
Our first meeting in January was on 5th January and this first meeting coincided with the first meeting at Corrin Court, the premises of the Manx
Blind Welfare Society, who initially agreed to let us use their premises for January, February and March of this year whilst alterations and
improvements were carried out at Masham Court. However members were so pleased with Corrin Court that it was decided to ask the Manx Blind Welfare
Society if they accommodate us for the full year.
The committee are delighted to advise members that this request was agreed and consequently members should carefully note that ALL FUTURE
MEETINGS THIS YEAR WILL BE HELD AT CORRIN COURT unless otherwise stated.
The meeting on the 5th was our usual Faith Supper. Our Chairman asked Mr Ian Cooil, the Chief Executive Officer of the MBWS to say a few words. He
said how happy he was to welcome the Stroke Club to Corrin Court explaining the layout of the premises and pointing out fire exits etc.
(Health & Safety in action) Then our own Chairman, Les Quayle welcomed members to our first meeting in 2012 thanking the ladies for preparing the
sandwiches and cakes which he could see at the other end of the room.
A general chat then took place with members suggesting several possibilities for speakers and entertainers for the July to December period.
After the chat members then enjoyed the supper prepared by many lady members of the club, sandwiches and cakes of all varieties, including a
beautiful Christmas cake soaked in brandy. There was a good supply of delicacies and most members went home with a goody bag. It was a great
first meeting for the year in fantastic comfortable new premises. Update has been requested to sincerely thank all the ladies who so kindly catered
for the night which made it such a memorable one.
On the 19th January we had the pleasure of a return visit of Peter Geddes. This time Peter presented an illustrated talk on the work involved in
building the Snaefell Wheel in Laxey Village Gardens. The hundreds of slides, shown expertly by Sue Jones, depicted the history from 1865 when it
was built for the Snaefell Mining Company by Leigh and Howell of Flintshire, North Wales. In 1910 its working life was over and was sent to Bodmin,
Cornwall. It was the dismantled for preservation purposes in 1950 and then in 2003 efforts wee started to return the wheel to Laxey. On 20th August
2006 the wheel was officially opened after many hours, months and years of labour by the Laxey Mines Preservation Team led by Peter Geddes. The wheel
was named Lady Evelyn to mark the extensive work by Evelyn Jones for her support of the Laxey Mines Restoration Team. She was not aware the wheel was
to be named after her until the plague was unveiled at the opening ceremony. Also present at the opening was one of the great grandchildren of one of
the directors of the company which built the wheel originally
Only one meeting to review in December but what a super meeting it turned out to be. 64 members turned up at Peel Golf Club to enjoy the annual
Christmas dinner. This number included Claire and Liz from the local branch of the Stroke Association and also Chris Larkin, Deputy Head of Operations
and Judith Moreland, Assistant Regional Manager both from North West Region. The three course meal including wine, followed by tea or coffee and
mince pies was absolutely delicious. The service was great and we thank the staff most sincerely for looking after members so well. Once again Father
Christmas seem to know where we would be, and in a very jovial mood distributed the presents to very happy members, ably assisted by our youngest
supporter and fund raiser Tia Wright. Before the meal commenced we had the pleasure of listening to nostalgic music played expertly on the keyboard
by Pete Gardener and after the meal was over members thoroughly enjoyed singing a few carols accompanied, of course, by Pete again. A really terrific
Also after the meal Chairman, Les Quayle addressed members and thanked them for turning out in such numbers and proceeded to inform members
that Treasurer, Terry Chilcott had indicated to the committee that he would not be standing for re election at the Annual General Meeting
in April next. Terry felt that after nearly 15 years in the position it was time to bow out.Les then asked the President, Dr Sam Khuraijam to present
to Terry a beautifully framed certificate and medal in recognition of his ongoing support and commitment to The Manx Stroke Foundation.
Les mentioned that this award was presented during European Year of the Volunteer 2011. A beautiful bouquet of flowers was presented to Terry’s wife
June, for supplying light refreshments at committee meetings throughout the year.
Chris Larkin then came on the scene and presented Terry with a further certificate from North Region for his services throughout the years.
Naturally Terry was very surprised with the presentations and more or less said he was speechless but thanked all concerned with arranging the awards.
Les also advised members that our regular meeting place, Masham Court was not available for the first two months of 2012 and even possibly
March 2012 as well. However the committee are busily looking into obtaining alternative venues and members will be kept advised of developments
(please click here for the latest news).
November 10th. Saw a visit by Andrew Scarffe of the Laxey Mines Research Group to give a presentation entitled “The Ant and the Bee”, these being
the two replica steam mine locomotives built in the 1990’s from recovered specifications and old photographs and which now form the motive power
for the Great Laxey Mine Railway which comprises an out-and-back single track passenger carrying railway running underneath the Laxey to Ramsey coast
road from a point above the former washing floors then alongside the river to a point opposite the Laxey Fire Station.
Andrew explained how his organisation had hopes to extend the line further up the valley towards the Wheel by bridging over the river at that point
and continuing up the opposite bank to connect with the former Manx Engineering factory which has now been very tastefully converted to a café
incorporating an exhibition centre on the upper level. (at the time of your reviewer’s visit admission was free, and there was much archive material
on display, including the full-size hand drawn Section Drawings of the honeycomb mine workings beneath your feet as you venture up Agneash Valley.
Quite astounding just how much material has been dug out of the ground and how deep the various shafts are sunk into the ground when you can look at a
picture of it all. I can also recommend the delightful home made cakes and refreshing cuppa downstairs!).
The dreaded “Elfin Safety” guys of today would have had apoplectic fits had they been subjected to the conditions that those miners chose to work in,
and, I imagine almost nothing would have been mined at all. But maybe that’s just me getting old.
Andrew’s presentation was very well received by all the members present, and he readily agreed to join in the communal tea drinking ceremony
before leaving us. It would be interesting if he could join us again if the plan to extend the line ever comes to fruition.
John Riley and Friends came along on the 24th November and presented to members a really memorable concert. Our Programme of Events actually showed
that the Choir, Musicale was due to appear but unfortunately, for various reasons, this was not possible.
However, John arranged for a few of his talented friends, namely Linda Corkish, Helen Prescott and Peter Cringle to come along, rather than let us
down and the evening turned out a great success.
Naturally we thank John most sincerely for his efforts on our behalf. Members were treated to a
really great evening of entertainment, with songs from the shows and films, Edwardian ballads and a couple of Mendelssohn duets from Linda and Helen.
About 37 members, including a new member, Jean Cardew from Port Erin, braved the weather, which was quite bad. Our youngest supporter Tia Wright set
up a stall and raised £130 odd for club funds and once again we thank Tia most sincerely for her efforts on our behalf.
On the 13 October members had the pleasure of listening to a group called ‘The Sound’ which usually consists of 3 chaps called Ian,
Donal and David playing their guitars but on this evening they were joined by 2 female vocalists, Janine and Jo, making a debut appearance
with the group. Needless to say members were delighted with the concert they presented. The easy listening songs were known by all members
who were happy to sing along with the group and if they were not singing the foot tapping was obvious.
Actually this was Ian and Donal’s second
visit to the club as they were here on 29th September 2005. All in all it was a super evening, as the mellow sound of the group was very much enjoyed
appreciated and it is hoped that it will not be another 6 years before they come again.
Maybe when they do come again the group may consist of a few members more.
58 club members enjoyed our usual Halloween supper on the 27th October when our usual caterers, Jane and Adrian served up a really delicious
hotpot followed by a choice of 3 scrumptious sweets, apple pie and custard, sticky toffee pudding and pavlova.
The general consensus of members
on the evening was brilliant, a smashing night, and all went home fully satisfied and happy. Word has reached Update that several members had second
helpings of hotpot and also that several members had two sweets, which perhaps proves the point that our caterers did us proud and we thank Jane and
Adrian most sincerely. It was great to see so many members dressed in scary costumes which really added to the atmosphere.
On 1st September members had the pleasure of enjoying ‘something completely different’.
The Kilgallon family lead by mother Clare, accompanied by her daughter, Esther and two sons John and David.
The evening could be described as ‘something completely different’. But what a lovely evening it turned out to be.
Members enjoyed a Manx Evening, with singing in Manx and Manx dancing by John and partner Rachel,
with David accompanying them on his violin. David also played a couple of lively airs on the violin.
The singing was mainly in Manx without any sort of accompaniment but the harmony of the singers can only
be described as amazing and the whole evening was thoroughly appreciated by all the members attending.
John Phipp came along on the 15th September and members were treated to an extraordinary slide show on Thailand. John’s presentation was very professionally put together which quickly proved his long years and experience in photography.
The slides accompanied by music, more or less covered the whole of Thailand detailing the riches in cities, with skyscrapers and marvellous buildings and very close by the poverty of some natives living in shacks and hovels.
Members saw many stunning temples and beautiful flower festivals and inhabitants in extremely attractive local costumes.
Needless to say all the slides were in magnificent colour and we hope John has further presentations on other exotic countries.
On 29th September (Election Day) members were bewitched by the Great Leonardo. The Great Leonardo also known as Bev Michelson
presented a mystifying evening of magic including a fair bit of good humour and banter from members. Many of his magic tricks
simply flabbergasted those present and no recount was necessary as The Great Leonardo topped the poll on the evening.
Prior to our speaker for the evening giving his talk, Peter Crebbin, stepson of Keith Lawrence, was introduced to members. Peter entered the Parish Walk this year reaching Peel in his endeavours as a result of which he presented a cheque for £620.00 to Chairman, Les Quayle and Treasurer, Terry Chilcott. Peter was thanked most sincerely for his marvellous effort and received warm applause from members.
Peter also walked in last year’s Parish Walk and raised £405.00, so in the two years he has donated £1025. Well done Peter, your labours are greatly appreciated.
After the presentation Brian King was introduced and he gave a very informative illustrated talk on the wreck of HMS Racehorse.
Brian explained that this 18 gun sloop was wrecked off Langness in 1822. Whist quite a few of the crew were rescued by local Castletown men on the last trip from the wreck the rescue boat capsized and 6 of the crew and 3 local men lost their lives,
Brian showed slides of the wreck on the sea bottom and he passed round rivets from the ship which were in marvellous condition considering they had bee underwater for 150 years or more,
It was obvious that Brian and his team had put a great deal of time and effort into obtaining the history of the wreck and he even had written details of the Captain’s court martial in London. The 42 stroke club members who packed Masham Court thoroughly appreciated Brian’s slide show and talk.
On 18th August 52 members met at the Douglas Golf Club and sat down to a delicious supper. This was the first time at this venue and it proved a great success. There was suitable parking and a lift to the first floor, where the restaurant was situated, helped those members who find it difficult climbing stairs. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their chosen meal, although those members, who chose the popular choice of Fish and Chips with mushy peas, had to wait a little longer.
However it was worth waiting for and the general opinion was it was a great night. Terry had arranged for several nice raffle prizes and the end result meant that Terry, our Treasurer went home with a full stomach and a full cash bag.
Judith Ley came along to entertain members on the 7th July and how she entertained us. Judith is a Manx Radio presenter and most members listen to her each Sunday, either to her morning programme, PRAISE or her evening programme, SUNDOWN, which is an easy listening music programme. Her stories, many of them true stories, were extremely funny and easy to listen to.
Judith then assisted Terry with the raffle and that became very amusing as well. All in all it was a most enjoyable evening and Update is pleased to say that Judith would be willing to return for another evening at a later date.
The meeting on the 21st July was held at St Andrews Church when we welcomed The Glenfaba Chorale. This superb choir had been scheduled to appear on two previous occasions but circumstances arose which unfortunately meant they could not come along. However this time they did make it and all members agreed the wait was worthwhile. The concert they presented was magnificent. The Glenfaba Chorale actually consists of three choirs. The Glenfaba Ladies, the Glenfaba Men and then these two choirs combined to form the Glenfaba Chorale. Muriel Corkish was the extremely competent conductor and the gifted accompanist was Clive Davenport, the compere for the evening was Peter Clague who carried out his duties with humour. As well as the three choirs we had the pleasure of listening to solos from John Kennaugh, Ken Bawden and Kay Harker. In addition Arthur Bawden entertained members with a couple of amusing recitations and the young Elisha Gilbertson enthralled the audience with two piano pieces. All in all it was really a terrific night’s entertainment and the Foundation thank the Glenfaba Chorale for a really delightful programme.
Not a great deal to report on the scheduled meeting for the 9th June as
this meeting was cancelled due to the TT Races. However the yoyos, which
left at the front door of Masham Court to amuse any member who forgot
that there was no meeting were still there when our Treasurer went to
check up, so he was absolutely delighted that he could return the yoyos
to the shop and get a refund. No comment!
On 23rd June Judith Walsh and Kirsty were unable to attend due to illness however Don Williamson stepped in and presented an
illustrated talk on his speciality of larvae and metamorphosis. His theory on evolution has been accepted by several eminent
biologists but as Don said not all biologists agree with his theory. Don has written several books on this subject and other
aspects of biology connected with marine life. It was obvious to all members than Don has a brilliant mind and we thank him
most sincerely for stepping in at the last minute and present such a informative and interesting talk.
The first meeting on the 12 May was our first outing for the year. The outing this time was to the Whitestone Restaurant in Ballasalla which was our first visit to this venue. There appears to be a lot of firsts in this paragraph so this must be the first time that the word first has been mention so many times in the first article of an Update. Now that piece of nonsense is over Update will now begin properly!!
Unfortunately none of Update’s fifteen reporters could attend the outing but from comments received from members it was thoroughly enjoyed by all who did partake in the delicious meals set before them.
Update has been advised that our Secretary, Irene Gardner organised the evening and members thank her for all her help and advice.
The next outing is on 18th August but the venue has still to be arranged as far as Update understands.
Dr Guy Sissons, Consultant Radiologist at Nobles Hospital came along on the 26 May and presented a most interesting and informative talk on his duties as Consultant Radiologist at Nobles Hospital. He advised members of the various types of X Rays including chest x rays , mammograms, CT scans, (computed axial tomography) and MRI scans (magnetic resonance imaging).
Dr Sissons also passed round probes which he explained can be inserted in the groin area and manipulated to any part of the body from the head to the toes. Absolutely amazing. He had members completely engrossed with his talk and impressed on members that Nobles Hospital was one of the best he had had the privilege of working in, saying we should all be very proud of Nobles.
After the talk,
Dr Sissons was presented with a thank you gift by our President,
On 14th April our 14th Annual General Meeting was held when a total of 54 members attended, including two new members, Helen Trimble and Heather Taubitz and we sincerely hope they will enjoy being members of our elite stroke club.
Our Chairman, Sharon Craine welcomed members to the meeting saying how nice it was to see so many members at the AGM as some AGM’s are only sparsely attended.
Sharon then introduced our President, Dr Sam Khuraijam who expressed great satisfaction on the reports from the Stroke Association detailing how the research grant of £10,000.00 which we sent last year was being expended. Dr Sam hoped that the committee and members would continue to support stroke research in the future as it was absolutely vital that research into the effects of stroke continued constantly.
Following the Presidents remarks it was unanimously decided to make a further grant of £10,000.00 to the Stroke Association earmarked strictly for a research programme. The particular programme to be decided by the committee.
Sharon then continued through the agenda, the minutes of the last AGM, the Chairman’s report and the Audited Accounts, which had been circulated prior to the meeting were dealt with reasonably quickly with Sharon explaining a couple of points from her report and Terry advising members a few more details of the income and expenditure. The subscription is to remain at £5.00 for the coming year.
The officials for the coming year were then elected. Sharon explained that Fred Powell was standing down due to health reasons and Fiona Budd was also not seeking re-election due to work commitments. Sharon then told members that she was reluctantly standing down as Chairman due to a conflict of interest insomuch that it was difficult for her to be Chairman and working on Ward 7 (Acute Stroke Unit) .
Officials for coming year were then elected as follows:-
Chairman. Les Quayle. Vice-Chairman. To be elected. Secretary. Irene Gardner. Treasurer. Terry Chilcott.
Jane Bridge, Trish Lambert, Margaret Radcliffe, Maureen Redmayne, Ed Kelly, (also Webmaster), David Mammen.
Our retiring Chairman then thanked all the committee for their support throughout her year and also thanked several members for all the work they do to ensure that the club ran smoothly each meeting including Peter and Rene for looking after the transport, Beryl-Anne for making sure members enjoy refreshments on club nights and also the ladies who serve the tea and coffee.
At this stage Sharon thanked Fred Powell for all the work he had done since joining the Stroke Club. Fred had acted as Secretary for several years and had acted as Assistant Treasurer, which Terry was pleased to confirm and explained that Fred’s computer expertise had helped him enormously for many years and there was no doubt Fred would be sadly missed. Sharon then said how pleased she was to welcome Margaret Radcliffe on to the committee, Margaret had kindly agreed to let her name go forward.
Sharon then asked our President to present a token of our appreciation to Fred’s wife Joan. Joan thanked members very much indeed and expressed the wish that if Fred improves then she felt he would be willing to assist the club in any way he could in the future. The President then thanked Sharon for all her work during the last year but fully understood her reason for standing down.
Terry then read out a letter from Les Quayle, who was off the Island, saying how honoured he was to accept the position of Chairman and hoped he would be able to carry out his duties as well as his predecessors.
The meeting concluded with a club supper which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. However it would appear that more volunteers may be required on future club suppers to provide refreshments due to the gradual increase in membership.
The second meeting in April was on 28th April when Judith Walsh and Friends were scheduled to appear. Unfortunately health problems prevented Judith from coming along but Judith expressed the wish that we could arrange a later date for her to appear. Our very own Peter Kelly stepped in to help the committee by agreeing to present a
"Kelly's Eye View of the Isle of Man". Peter had a marvellous selection of slides from yesteryear,
taken over a fourty-five year period and showing several different
aspects of the Island not seen before, such as an unusual carving on the
front of a hobby horse at Silverdale (pictured). With his usual humorous commentary
Peter ensured that members had a most enjoyable nostalgic evening. Thank you very much indeed Peter for coming along at such short notice.
The first meeting in February was on the 3rd, when Charles Guard came to St Andrews Church hall and presented to members about 5 of his shorter DVD’s Charles is the Administrator of Manx Heritage Foundation and has compiled many DVD’s on Manx Heritage. The 5 he selected for our benefit were absolutely magnificent. Who will forget the amazing garden which Keith Kerruish dreamed up. Absolutely amazing to say the least. Perhaps eccentric is another description that comes to mind. Members then watched the well known celebrity from the 1940’s and early 1950’s, the famous Florrie Ford. Members I think were surprised to how big a lady she was and we were made aware that she did not own a cottage at Niarbyl, as many members believed, but went there occasionally to visit a friend who did live there.
Three further DVD’s were shown including an interesting one on Manx Ploughing competition with a commentary by Lennie Kerruish explaining that after the furrows had been ploughed by tractor or horse, the furrows were then manhandled by the ploughman to make sure the furrows were straight. No doubt members recognised Lennie as he quite often came along to our Christmas Dinners at Masham Court and assisted our caterers with serving the meal.
Every one of the 44 members who attended on the night thoroughly enjoyed the aerial view of the Island, when Charles Guard flew around the Island in a helicopter. The views were just magnificent and confirmed what we all believe that we live on a spectacular Island and would be very reluctant to live elsewhere. Another DVD watched by all was one of the Millennium of Tynwald in 1979. This brought back memories and several well known Manx people were recognised on the screen, despite the fact that it was 32 years ago. The Governor of the Island at that time was Sir John Paul who was asked by Tynwald to stay on an additional year for this prestigious year in Manx history.
Our very own Peter Kelly came along with on 17th March; however he did not bring along his Magic Lantern this time but a very modern piece of equipment which he had been introduced to by his son, Edward.
Peter explained that the pictures we were about to see had been given to him, but Edward had apparently scanned them and transferred them to discs. Members then watched several set of discs depicting pictures from 1960 and 1970’s. They were in full colour and were fantastic to view and members recognised several people, despite the fact that some of them were from 40 years ago. One person we did spot was Muriel Waterson, who along with her late husband was riding in top of a double decker horse tram during a Douglas Carnival. Muriel’s husband at that time was the Mayor of Douglas.
As usual Peter gave a very amusing commentary on the pictures as they came up. Another super nostalgic evening.
On the 31st March the Sheeanyn Millish Choir entertained a packed house. This is the first time members have had the pleasure of listening to this choir and the reaction they received from members means that it will certainly not be the last. The choir was absolutely delightful to listen to, they sang a marvellous selection of songs and on occasions members were asked to join in, which was greatly appreciated by all. In addition to the singing, members were laughing as they enjoyed a couple of amusing poems recited by a couple of choir members. The choir appreciated tea and coffee and biscuits and were all extremely friendly mixing and chatting to members before leaving for the deep south of the Island where they originate from and we thank them all most sincerely for finding the time to come along to our social evening.
members went along to the Gaiety Theatre on 3rd February to watch the
Douglas Choral Union perform ‘My Fair Lady’Update did not have a
reporter there this year but we understand this show was absolutely fantastic
and greatly appreciated by the full house watching the show on the evening.
Perhaps the only criticism heard was that it was a bit too long but nevertheless
the general opinion was it was the best show seen at the Gaiety for quite a few
years. Next year the DCU will be presenting ‘Miss Saigon’
the 17th February members had the pleasure of an illustrated talk by
Howard Parkin. Howard is a very well known authority on the stars and planets
here on the Island. In fact his talk was about what can be seen in the Manx
skies at this time of the year. He gave a most descriptive talk on what we could
see over the next few nights in the skies. He informed members that the Northern
Lights could be clearly seen, assuming of course, that the skies were clear and
without clouds over the next few nights, i.e. Thursday Friday and Saturday, 17th
18th & 19th February. For those members who were unable to attend the meeting
the correct name for the Northern Lights is Aurora Borealis and the slides which
Howard showed to members were absolutely brilliant and breathtaking.
On 6th January 2011 members attended our first meeting of the New Year when the programme of events specified FAITH SUPPER.The
first part of the meeting was a general debate on how the club was run,
were members happy with how it was run and would members like to see
After a lengthy discussion between members and
committee it was obvious that everyone was more than happy with the way
the committee were operating the club and no changes were thought
necessary. Members then put forward suggestions for speakers,
entertainers etc. The organising committee for the programme of
events were delighted with the ideas and a note was made of the various
Following the debate members then enjoyed a marvellous supper
and once again the committee thank, most sincerely, all the people who
kindly catered for the night, as it contributed to a really lovely
On 20th January members were expecting the Glenfaba
Chorale to come along to entertain us but unfortunately they were
unable to find a pianist as the regulars were off the Island or could
not attend that evening.
the committee managed to arrange for Jean Guthrie to come along and
present her illustrated talk on ‘Walking the Inca Trail in Peru.’ No
doubt members will remember that Jean was due to come along on 11th
November 2010 to present this talk but because of absolutely shocking
weather that particular meeting was cancelled.
The actual slide show
and talk by Jean was quite fantastic. The terrain which Jean trekked
over was unbelievable and to do this for a charity, Christian Aid can
only be described as magnificent There are a lot easier ways of raising
funds for charity so we congratulate Jean on her remarkable
achievement. Her photographs of Cusco and Machu Picchu were absolutely
awesome. Thank you very much indeed Jean.
Only one meeting to review in
December and that was the meeting held on 9 December, when 65 members
turned up at Peel Golf Club to enjoy our annual Christmas Dinner. As
members are aware this annual event is usually held at Masham Court but
the committee in their wisdom anticipated that the number of members
wishing to attend this year’s dinner would prove too many for comfort
in Masham Court. This proved correct as there is no way 65 members
could have been accommodated. In fact there were 69 people due to
attend but illness and othr reasons prevented 4 from coming along.
The dinner was a great success the Golf Club had arranged and decorated
the tables beautifully and the three course meal was thoroughly enjoyed
After the dinner a gorgeous bouquet of flowers was presented to Jayne
Williamson, Family Support Organiser at the Stroke Association who was
retiring after 9 years of dedicated service assisting stroke patients
and their families. Jayne was also instrumental in setting up the Brush
Strokes Art Group, which several of our members belong to. There is no
doubt that Jayne will be greatly missed. Sharon and Terry presented the
bouquet which Jayne thoroughly appreciated.
After the presentation Father Christmas appeared and handed our
presents to members in his jovial manner. Update is still wondering how
he knew we had changed our venue. Well done and thank you very much
indeed, Father Christmas, whoever you are.
Unfortunately the first meeting
in November was cancelled due to the atrocious weather conditions which
existed all day on 11th November and continued right through the
evening. Very strong winds, sometimes even gale force, and heavy
unrelenting rain caused the committee to contact all members and advise
It was appreciated that many members
were looking forward to Jean Guthrie’s presentation on her
journey over the Inca Trail in Peru. Jean agreed with the decision to
call it off but said she would be only too pleased to give her talk in
McDowell and her friends came along on 25th November. Wendy
has been several times over the years and entertained members with
marvellous concerts and this evening was no exception, in fact it could
have been the best ever, if that is possible.
brought along 5 friends, namely, and as they say on TV, in no
particular order, Helen Prescott, Neave Wilders, Dean Callow, Simon
Bampton and Harry Galbraith. 43
were treated to a superb concert, songs from the shows, pop songs, a
few opera songs, humorous songs and a couple of duets. Naturally the
singers were accompanied by Wendy and we thank them all very much
indeed for finding the time to come along and give members an
absolutely fantastic evening.
The first meeting in October was on the 14th when
Jack Kaighin came along with his 115 year old magic lantern and more
recent screen and presented members with a fine display of slides
depicting scenes of the Island from the distant past. His earliest
slides were from 1880’s which surprisingly none of our
members could remember!!! However more recent ones which showed Douglas
beach crowded with holidaymakers brought back memories of the good old
days or were they? It was a really nostalgic night and we thank Jack
for coming along to present is collection of slides.
On the 28th October our
Halloween Supper was thoroughly enjoyed by about 48 members. When
members began to arrive the room was completely prepared for members
just to sit down and the committee thank those members who arrived
early to set up and decorate the tables. Many of
the members took the trouble to dress up for the night, which added to
the fun and gave the evening a terrific atmosphere. One person was seen
to scamper out of Masham Court absolutely terrified by a few of the
masks worn by members, or were they wearing masks??!!
As usual our caterers provided
members with a
meal of shepherds pie, carrots, potatoes and peas which was thoroughly
enjoyed by every single member. The main meal was followed by a choice
of two delicious sweets, however most people sampled the two, which is
quite normal for our hungry crowd.
Tea or coffee
followed with the a welcome addition of a handsomely decorated fairy
cake cooked by our two youngest supporters, Tia and Lauren, who like
many members, were appropriately dressed for the occasion. All in all
it was a tremendous evening.
first of the three September meetings was held on 2nd September when we
welcomed, once again, The Regal Singers and as usual they presented to
members an outstanding evening of entertainment. As well as the choir
we had several solos from individual members, Peter and Ann Fletcher,
Harry Galbraith and the choir’s conductor, Alan Wilcocks. We
enjoyed the humorous duet by Arthur Cowley and George Davidson. A
really great night
However, members had quite a surprise when
arrived at Masham Court to find that the piano had been moved from one
end of the room to the other end and several chairs had disappeared.
This presented problems but they were soon overcome but the consensus
of opinion was that the new arrangement was not as convenient as the
old arrangement. Unfortunately as we rent the room there is little we
can do about it.
The committee are extremely grateful to Peter
Rene Brew who very kindly brought along 30 additional chairs, as
without these chairs the evening would have been chaotic to say the
least. Thank you most sincerely Peter & Rene. The time is fast
approaching when the committee will have to consider finding a slightly
bigger hall for meetings. Naturally members will be kept
of developments on this matter.
16 September 56 members travelled to Peel Golf Club for our second
outing of the summer. This was our first visit to this venue but Update
has been advised from several reports from members that it was
extremely good and they all expressed the hope that the committee will
consider it again in the future
The venue has excellent
parking and the accessibility is quite good and the food and the
service could not be faulted.
Considering this was our first
visit, the committee feel sure it will not be the last.
Leslie Guthrie came along on the 30th September and presented a superb
selection of slides on his holiday in the Azores.
presentation ‘Travels with a Lady.’ He then gave an
commentary on the slides of photographs taken on 4 of the 9 islands
making up the Azores. The slides were a mass of colour, the street
scenes, the lovely churches, the beautiful flowers, and the mountainous
region including the vast amount of lava and then we met the Lady in
She was in fact the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co Ltd
vessel the ‘Lady of Mann. How well she looked, apparently she
on hire to the Government of the Azores to sail between the Islands on
a regular basis. It seems that she stayed in the Azores for about 3
years before returning. The Government would have liked to purchase the
‘Lady’ but they did not have the funds in the bank.
is interesting to note that Leslie’s wife Jean is coming
the 11th November to give an illustrated talk entitled,
‘Walking on the Inca Trail in Peru’ So members can
forward to some spectacular pictures on that evening.
Our first meting in August was on 5 August, but
unfortunately none of Update’s 23 reporters were able to
attend, so it was arranged that an undercover reporter from another
world wide magazine similar to Update, would go along and submit a
report. The programme of events showed that Arthur Kinrade and friends
were scheduled to appear.
Arthur and friends came
to entertain and did they entertain. Great songs and lots of banter
between Arthur and his pianist, Mike Swain, the words ‘a
hilarious evening’ was heard more than once at the end of the
evening. Our club is fortunate to have such lovely people who freely
give their talents and time for our enjoyment. Update is hopeful that
we will see them again next year.
On the 19 August we had the
pleasure of welcoming the hardy souls who took part in the Parish Walk
for the benefit of our Charity. Between the four walkers namely, Robin
Perrie, Amanda Michele, Peter Kennaugh and our Secretary, Irene Gardner
a total sum of £2,065.00 was raised, a magnificent sum.
Naturally the club thank them all most sincerely for their valiant
efforts. Update believes there are easier ways of earning funds for
charity but they chose the famous Parish Walk, you might say the hard
way. Naturally the Manx Stroke Foundation is indebted to all four
Needless to say our Treasurer was
extremely happy had a big smile on his face all night long. He was so
happy he thought he was Les Dawson or maybe Tommy Cooper as he
proceeded to tell a few jokes, or so called jokes before he introduced
the four walkers and their connection to our Charity. They each said a
few words describing their efforts and it would appear that they may
enter next years Parish Walk for our benefit. Naturally the 41 members
who attended the meeting gave each walker a tremendous ovation.
the formalities everyone enjoyed a delicious club supper, what a
spread, absolutely marvellous and the committee wish to express their
gratitude to all those members who prepared and brought along the
goodies, thank you all very much indeed.
the 8 July we had the pleasure in welcoming back Eleanor Shimmin and
three of her pupils, namely, Linda Corkish, Bethany Magee and Tim
Riley. They presented a lovely concert for the 40 odd members who
attended. Members enjoyed a couple of Manx traditional songs, songs
from musicals and Linda sang a couple of very well known Vera Lynn
pieces including The White Cliffs of Dover which all present were happy
to join in at Linda’s invitation. Eleanor is always very
willing to come along to our social evenings and invariably is
accompanied by several of her pupils, some quite young and others more
mature. Naturally we thank Eleanor very much indeed for supporting us
in this way.
Jenny Wernham, Service
co-ordinator and Project Officer of the British Red Cross, Isle of Man
Branch came along on the 22 July and explained her duties here on the
Isle of Man and also the various works which are undertaken by the
local branch. The different types of duties carried out by The Red
Cross amazed members, the functions they attend as First Aiders are too
numerous to mention. Jenny advised that they receive no funds from
Government but rely on donations from the general public and local
firms and companies. Jenny had a lovely personality and offered to
return in the New Year to present a demonstration
of basic first aid etc. Jenny then assisted Terry in running the raffle
which was greatly appreciated.
one meeting to report this month but what a meeting it was.
the 24 June we welcomed the very well known choir Musicale, and what a
concert they presented to the over 40 members who attended. Words are
difficult to describe the evening. Brilliant, fantastic, superb.
Obviously they sang as a choir but members also enjoyed solos and
duets. The repertoire consisted of songs from the shows,
including Abba and Les Miserables to name a couple, some serious pieces
and some comedy pieces, all in all a memorable night which will be
remembered for some time. We thank John Riley, normally the conductor
but on this occasion was the accompanist and all the members of
Musicale for finding the time to come along once again to entertain us.
We sincerely hope that they will find time to come again in the future.
13th May we had the pleasure of welcoming back our former Secretary,
Jane Corkill, who brought along her friend, Olivia Black.
and Olivia belong to the Douglas Choral Union and have taken lead parts
in a number of musical shows at the Gaiety Theatre. They were
accompanied by the very well known Eleanor Shimmin, who has been
recognised for many years, as an extremely gifted music teacher in both
singing and piano. Eleanor herself has won 3 Cleveland Medals at the
Guild in her career in the music world and actually taught Jane and
Olivia from small children. Eleanor kindly brought along one of her
pupils, Elliott Booth, who like Eleanor sings and plays the piano, but
as Elliott explained, ‘not at the same time’
Now comes the hard bit describing the concert they put on for all members. It was absolutely brilliant, solos, duets and piano playing. A mixture of songs from the musicals, pop tunes and jazz on the piano and all performed in such a happy atmosphere. Other words come to mind such as fantastic, marvellous, superb but perhaps the easiest way of describing the night is just to say, it was the best night’s entertainment ever. The committee will endeavour to get them back at a later date and we strongly recommend those members who missed the night to make sure they get along to their next performance.
enjoyed our outing to the Pavilion Restaurant, Port St Mary. Whilst we
were warned that those ordering Fish & Chips, 26 in all, may
to wait a while the staff at the Restaurant managed to serve all the
meals reasonably quickly and we thank the staff for their prompt and
efficient service. All members went home stating that they had
thoroughly enjoyed their meal, whatever the choice. It was nice to
welcome a new member, Alice Wright from Port Erin and we hope to see
her regularly at our future meetings. We also welcomed Magdalena Heath
who came along with her daughter Sonia and here again we hope we will
be seeing her at meetings in the months ahead. It was sad that a few of
our members who had booked to come were unable to attend through
illness or even being in hospital and we trust they will back with us
Wright was our guest speaker on the 1st April. Steve gave members a
video presentation showing the variety of animals living wild around
the Island, some of which he had waited hours to capture footage of. As
well as the wildlife members might have expected, he managed to film a
King Fisher at the Mooragh boating pool, common lizards at the Ayres
and feral wallabies at Ballaugh Curragh. At the end of the talk Steve
answered questions, where members found out his favourite animals to
film were Risso’s Dolphins as they can be really
and always seem to be having fun. Peter Kelly gave a vote of thanks and
commented that the dolphins didn’t look much like the
remembers eating as a child.
on the night, in the back room, MSF committee members presented
£100 of B & Q vouchers to Stephen Dawson for his help
developing our recently launched website. Ed Kelly, who acts as
webmaster of our site, says he couldn’t have done it without
April, 55 members attended to Annual General Meeting.
Chairman, Maureen Redmayne, welcomed members to the meeting and then
introduced our President,Sam
Khuraijam, who gave a very interesting talk on the importance of stroke
research, referring to the projects, which were advised by the Stroke
Association, that our donation last year was helping to finance. He
particularly mentioned the stem cell research being undertaken in these
programmes. We thank our President most sincerely for finding the time
to come along to address the meeting so informatively. After his
presentation, Fred Powell proposed that a grant of £10,000 be
forwarded to the Stroke Association earmarked for research, this was
agreed unanimously by the meeting.
Maureen then proceeded to go
agenda and as the minutes for the last AGM , together with
Chairman’s report and copies of the audited accounts had been
circulated to members prior to meeting. The meeting proceeded quickly.
A couple of points were raised over the accounts which were answered
satisfactorily by the Treasurer. At this stage David Mammen thanked the
Treasurer for his work in looking after the funds which was endorsed by
Michael Wood. Terry thanked the members for their confidence in him,
and thanked his Assistant Treasurer, Fred Powell for his help and
support throughout the year.
The Treasurer proposed
annual subscription should remain at £5.00, which was agreed.
Quayle then advised members of the amendments to the Constitution
explaining the minor changes which were necessary. The amendments were
agreed by the meeting and Les was thanked for all the work he had put
in during the year to finalise this matter.
officials for the coming year were then elected as follows:-
Sharon Craine Vice-Chair - To be
- Irene Gardener
- Terry Chilcott
Jane Bridge, Fiona Budd, Trish Lambert,
Ed Kelly, David Mammen, Les Quayle.
election was needed for the position of President as Dr Sam Khuraijam
had indicated his willingness to continue in the position.
to say all members were delighted at this decision.
President then thanked Maureen Redmayne for the hard work and time she
had put in during her two years as Chairman. Maureen replied by saying
she had thoroughly enjoyed her term as Chairman and was only too happy
to carry on to serve on the committee.
April we had the pleasure of 5 young members of theMagicians of Mann entertaining us with some absolutely amazing tricks
which left members completely mystified and saying, ‘How the
did they do that?’ Considering their age they were absolutely
marvellous, they were all very confident, introducing themselves and
getting members to join in with the fun. All in all a really enjoyable
evening of magical proportions. Before
the magic show our Treasurer was delighted to receive a cheque for
£246.55 from the Friends of Baldrine. As usual Terry had a
smile on his face.
David Keggin, Volunteer in charge of The Douglas Coastguards came along
on the 4 March and gave a very interesting and amusing talk on the
duties of the coastguards throughout the Island. First he gave a brief
history of the service and then an illustrated presentation on the many
aspects of their job, working closely with the Police, Lifeboat, Cliff
Rescue and dealing with hazardous objects washed up on the
beaches. The 50 members who attended the meeting
greatly impressed with the varied duties carried out by the Coastguard
On 18 March Eleanor Shimmin and a few of
were due to come along but unfortunately Eleanor had spent a short
spell in hospital the weekend before and although she was now home, did
not feel strong enough to fulfil her engagement. Eleanor
apologised profusely, however she assured Terry that she would be only
too pleased to come at a later date. Naturally we will be very happy to
find a date in the July to December, 2010 programme of events.
Glenfaba Ladies Choir offered to come along as a replacement for the
evening but regrettably they were unable to acquire the services of an
accompanist for the evening. Muriel Corkish, conductor of the choir,
advised that they would be willing to come along during the January to
June 2011 programme as they were fully booked to the end of
the setbacks, members enjoyed a couple more of our members in the
‘WHO ARE YOU?’ talks. Don Williamson and Les Quayle
gave interesting resumes of their lives to the 44 members who attended.
Don recalled his service in the Royal Navy where he unfortunately
caught TB and was discharged through this illness. Don told members he
became a marine biologist and applied for a position with Liverpool
University and eventually became Manager of the Marine Biological
Station in Port Erin.
informed members of his early years when he worked for
Ranscombe’s the photographers cycling around Douglas
films from various shops, no digital cameras in those days. He later
became a fireman in Douglas Fire Brigade and recalled getting a call
out to the infamous Summerland Fire. A horrifying disaster which no
doubt, Les will never forget. The committee thank Don and Les for
agreeing to help them out on this occasion.
first meeting in February was Thursday 4th February 2010 when about 20
members visited The Gaiety Theatre to see the Douglas Choral
Union’s production of Beauty and the Beast.
of members attending the show was disappointing compared to other
years, the show itself was extremely good and thoroughly enjoyed by
those that did attend. At the end of the performance members were asked
to hang back by committee member Ed Kelly, who had arranged for the
cast of the show to come from backstage to the front of the stalls and
have a photo shoot with members.
18th February we
celebrated the New Year, albeit slightly late, as Update is sure that
members will recall that this was to be held on Thursday, 7 January but
very bad weather meant that our celebration planned for that evening
had to be cancelled at the last minute. The club supper was a great
success and the committee wish to express their sincere thanks to those
members who so kindly prepared the tremendous buffet, which every
single member of the marvellous number of 42 members who attended
greatly appreciated on the night. Suffice to say that there was very
little food left over.
Before supper Terry explained
to members the title ‘WHO ARE YOU?’
indicated that during the year a few of our members had unfortunately
died. Naturally several members attended the funeral services and were
surprised to hear about the very interesting lives our friends and
fellow members had lived. Accordingly at one of the committee meetings
it was suggested that perhaps during the coming year some time be
allocated for members to stand up and present a brief description of
the lives to date. With no volunteers on night Terry was first to start
the ball rolling. No great revelations to tell members. Fred Powell
followed Terry informing members that he was born in Hereford but had
now lived on the Island for just about 40 years. Peter Kelly then gave
an amusing short précis on his life advising that when he
born it was such a shock to him that for the first 18 months or so he
didn't speak! One could
say he has come on in leaps and bounds!
first meeting in the New Year on 7th January could be described as a
whitewash as the snowy weather meant that the committee had to cancel
the night as it was felt that it would be too dangerous to proceed.
is no doubt that it would have been a great meeting as the volunteers
to assist with the club supper arranged for the evening were numerous
to say the least. However the club supper to welcome the New Year in
has been postponed to Thursday 18 February, as you will have noticed
from the programme to 30th June 2010, which all members should have in
January, Pam Duchars came along and presented a fantastic slide show on
her cruise with her husband in Burma.
always manages to find the more unusual scenes to photograph which not
only shows the beauty of the country but also the poverty existing in
these so called exotic countries. It certainly opened
eyes and makes us very glad that we live in the Isle of Man.
one meeting to review in December but members will not really need
reminding about that meeting. Of course, it was the Christmas Dinner.
61 members, a record, attended the dinner on 10th December and
thoroughly enjoyed a gorgeous traditional dinner prepared by Jane,
Adrian and Margaret.
usual the room was beautifully arranged by several members led by
Sharon and the committee have requested Update to thank all concerned
in these preliminaries very much indeed. There is no doubt that when
members arrive at Masham Court on the night and view the room it
ensures that all members are in a festive mood straight away.
previously mentioned the meal was absolutely delicious and as normal,
plenty of extra turkey and vegetables if you so wished. Quite a few
members were heard to say it was the best ever Christmas Dinner.
committee would like
to thank Father
Christmas, whoever he is, for once again turning up to distribute gifts
to members, ably assisted by our youngest supporter, Tia. The
committee thank Tia very much indeed for assisting on the night and her
loyal support over the last few years, which can only be described as
amazing for one so young.
committee would also like to thank Peter and Rene for transporting the
chairs to Masham
Court which enable Sharon and her team to arrange the tables to sit 61
members, as it is certain that using the big chairs around the tables
this would not have been possible.
addition Update has been asked to thank all the members present for
supporting the raffle so magnificently. Our Treasurer was absolutely
delighted with the sum raised i.e. £131.00 and was smiling
the way to the bank. With regard to the raffle we thank Fred Powell for
providing the seasonally decorated envelopes which were on the tables
Ellison came along on the 12 November and presented a marvellous
collection of his photographs which were shown through a sophisticated
digital recorder and members viewed them on a large screen. To say the
pictures were magnificent is an understatement as the shots from all
over the Island including extremely rough seas around the Island and
also shots from holidays in Ireland were amazing. There is no doubt
that the committee will ask John to return at a later date.
own Peter Kelly presented a slide show on the 26 November. Peter showed
members a selection of 140 old postcards bringing back memories of the
Island when it was a thriving tourist resort. However Peter had his son
Ed scan the post cards, which meant that the postcards could be shown
via John Ellison’s digital recorder onto Peter’s
screen. John sat by Peter in case of any hitches. Thankfully there were
no setbacks and members were treated to a display of old postcards on a
large screen with the usual very amusing commentary from Peter. A
really terrific night and we hope Peter can persuade Ed to scan a
further selection of postcards for a future club night.
Geddes supported by Sue Jones came along on the 1st October and
presented a very interesting and informative talk on the transformation
of a derelict run down water wheel situated in the grounds of a private
residence on Glen Darragh Road. Slides depicting the state of the water
wheel before commencing restoration, then loads of slides showing how
the job was progressing and finally slides showing the result of many
many hours of hard work over several months showing the restored water
wheel in all its splendour, which can only be described as absolutely
amazing. To complete the work Peter said he was requested by the owner
of the property to install lighting throughout the area and further
slides showed the tress and bushes in the glen, where the
was situated, floodlit reminiscent of Summerhill Glen in its glory
days. All in all this was a marvellous presentation.
15th October we had the great pleasure of welcoming, once again, The
Regal Singers to our club night. Needless to say Masham Court was full
to capacity, showing the choir just how much they are
appreciated. As usual Alan Wilcocks was the conductor and
was the accompanist and with 22 members in the choir, the
evening was an absolutely fabulous one with members thoroughly enjoying
every single item in their performance. Peter Kelly proposed the vote
of thanks in his usual humorous style. The Regal Singers have
been great supporters of our charity, not only in coming along to
entertain us on a regular basis but also for making donations to us on
several occasions. We are sure that Update speaks for all members in
thanking them most sincerely for finding the time to come along to our
club night and wish them every success in the future in their efforts
to entertain the public throughout the Island.
the concert began Terry welcomed new member Olga Hull to the club for
the first time and no doubt Olga will remember it for quite
sometime, as due to a technical hitch with the bus transporting her and
Pat Garrett back to Elder Grange they did not arrive until
11.30pm! Let’s hope this is the first and last time such an
was held on 29th October when 50 members sat down to
enjoy a delicious supper of Cottage Pie cooked by our usual caterers, J
K Catering. This was followed by a selection of desserts which Update
understands went down extremely well with quite a few members partaking
in more than one! A super supper.
Sean O’Connell came along on the 3 September and gave members
memorable illustrated talk on his experiences when he was selected as a
diver to go down about two and a half miles to explore the wreck of the
Titanic. Whilst he mixed quite a bit of humour in his talk it was
obvious to all members present that it was an extremely dangerous task.
It was a Russian lead expedition, and the three divers went down in a
Mir Submersible (see pic), having to lie flat very close to one another
only be described as an exceptionally cramped space. It took about 2 to
3 hours to descend, they spent about 6 hours exploring and a further 2
to 3 hours to come up. The submersible was built to stand tremendous
pressure and as Sean said if a crack appeared in the craft the 3 divers
would have been liquid in a flash. Before coming to the Island to live,
Sean was a Police Diver in Eire and he is hoping to be in a position to
give a talk on his experiences as a Police Diver in the New Year. The
committee are hopeful of getting him to come along again to present,
what will certainly be, another interesting talk.
Jane Corkill and her friend Olivia Black were unable to come along on
17th September, as they were unable to arrange for an accompanist to
play for them. Naturally we were all disappointed, as was Jane and
Olivia as they were both looking forward to the evening. However it is
hoped that they will be able to come along to one of our March 2010
the evening went reasonably well with Terry asking a few questions
under the heading of ‘Do You Remember.’ These
took members back many years, with most members recalling when
TV’s took 5 minutes to warm up, and when packets of Cereal
free toys hidden in the box
was great to see our President, Dr Sam Khuraijam at the meeting and
Terry introduced him to new members then asked Dr Sam to say a few
words. Despite absolutely no warning Dr Sam gave a very interesting
talk including advising members that Newlands, now known as Ward 20,
was celebrating its 20th anniversary. No doubt many members have spent
time in Newlands.
and Terry informed the meeting that Ward 7 was now officially
acute stroke ward and that our Foundation was assisting financially
with training of nurses, state of the art blood pressure monitors and a
wall mounted TV for the lounge. The committee have been trying
extremely hard to establish a stroke ward over the years and are
delighted that this has now happened with a great deal of help from
Consultant, Dr Thomas.