Stroke Club MeetingsArchive

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✍️ 2023 Meetings

Christmas Lunch 6th December

Forty-two members and quests enjoyed a lovely Christmas lunch at the Hawthorn Inn on 6th December 2023. Many tucked into a tasty turkey dinner with all the trimmings but there was also vegetarian Wellington, beef, lamb and salmon on the menu. The room bussed with conversation as everyone caught up with old friends and some with new ones. The traditional raffle was held with interesting prizes. All in all, a lovely end to this year’s programme of club meetings.

November 2023

2nd November Sheeayn Millish choir

Sheeayn Millish choir entertained us with a lovely selection of songs to brighten a dark, cold evening on Thursday 2nd November. Many of the songs were from musicals such as ‘I Have Often Walked Down this Street Before’ from My Fair Lady, ‘Together Wherever We Go’ from the 1959 musical, Gypsy, and ‘One Day More’ from Les Miserables. They also gave us the song ‘Sing Gently’, composed by Eric Whittaker which was performed by the virtual choir of 17,000 voices during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a break from music, we were amused by a rendition of Edward Lear’s nonsense rhyme ‘the Dong with a Luminous Nose’. There were renditions of ‘You Raise me Up’, ‘A Million Dreams’ (from The Greatest Showman), ‘Over the Rainbow’ and ‘The Prayer’ (sung partly in Italian). We enjoyed a wonderful evening’s entertainment and look forward to the return of Sheeayn Millish in the future.

October 2023

5th October - Peter Geddes: Mines Research Group

The Mines Research Group was the topic of the talk given by Peter Geddes on Thursday 5th October 2023. Peter became involved with the group in 1984. The members of the group are all volunteers, giving their time to research the mines and make them safe. Their work involves skill in civil engineering and also safety and rope techniques. The Government asks the group to investigate the mines but they will finance timbers and equipment that may be needed. Peter’s illustrated talk gave us images of the adits, tunnels and caverns below our feet. There are 120 mines on this little island with shafts deep underground. Clearing debris and fallen rock is often needed but will uncover treasures such as the railway tunnel by the Laxey wheel on which the Bee and Ant now run as a tourist attraction. The mines group have worked all over the island from Laxey, Ramsey, Foxdale to Bradda Head. This was a fascinating talk, enjoyed by all

September 2023

Outing - lunch at Peel Golf Club

On a gloriously sunny afternoon, approximately 30 members went for a slap-up lunch at The Fairways in Peel. There were two meal choices pre-selected by attendees; cottage pie or vegetable curry. Both went down well with clean plates all round! As ever, the friendly staff in the clubhouse were very helpful and we all enjoyed a good afternoon out.

August 2023

Presentation by Anthony Charnley

Anthony gave us a very interesting presentation of his experiences working abroad. He was born and grew up in the Isle of Man and after University, he travelled to The Hague in the Netherlands where he met his wife. Working in the oil and gas industry they visited ten countries and had to move many times during that time. 

Anthony showed photographs of the many places he had been which were mainly places not visited by tourists, with wonderful photos of the local people, culture and surrounding countryside. Photos of the huge drill platforms which stand 2000 – 30,000 feet threequarters of that under the sea. The dykes and levies of New Orleans, Carnival, and following Hurricane Catrina devastation. Aman, camping in the “Wadies”, coastal trading stations, the great forts and Dows used to transport goods. 

He showed us Silver jewellery for the bride and dagger for the husband. He went on to show photographs of Damascus, and Roman settlements. Next, Egypt, mentioning the revolutions, Cairo, sandstorms, and the need for security in Iraq. He went on to talk about his holidays in Luxor, Namibia, and The Nile. Anthony, suggested two books which are a good read if you are interested in this region of the world. The Marsh Arabs, by Wilfred Thesiger and, A Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia Edwards. 

July 2023

6th July Ginny Viner – The Power of Laughter

Our speaker for Thursday 6th September was Ginny Viner who explained the power of laughter. Ginny became interested in laughter whilst living in South Africa and researched its healing effects. Laughter, whether it be natural or ‘put on’, releases endorphins in the brain. Endorphins help people cope with pain, stress and anxiety and so laughter can make a person feel better. There are many exercises to do with laughter and Ginny went through a few of them with us. We may have started with ‘put on’ laughter but by the end of the session we were giggling like children. Many of us certainly felt the healing effect of laughing. So, for those who were there, don’t forget ‘Ho, ho, ho! Ha, ha, ha! Yeah! 

June 2023

No meeting due to TT Races

May 2023

Afternoon Tea 4th May

Thirsty-six members and quests enjoyed a wonderful afternoon tea at the Peel Golf Club on Thursday 4th May 2023. It is not the first time we have enjoyed the hospitality of Peel Golf Club and we were once again given an excellent feast. We had sandwiches, pastries, fruit and a selection of cakes – chocolate cakes, lemon drizzle, macaroons and cream scones. It was a good opportunity to catch up with all the news from our stroke club friends. A good time was had by all. 

April 2023

6th April Jane Corkill and friends 

On Thursday 6th April the stroke club members enjoyed a wonderful concert given by Jane Corkill, Ruth Tickle and Naomi Longhurst. Their performance of songs from the Musicals would have matched, and probably exceeded, anything on the London stage. Jane and Ruth began the evening singing ‘Over the Rainbow’ from ‘The Wizard of Oz’, accompanied by Naomi on the piano. Jane followed this with ‘I could have danced all night’ from ‘My Fair Lady ‘. Ruth gave a lovely rendition of Gershwin’s ‘Someone to watch over me’. Their voices harmonised so well in duets such as ‘I know him so well’ from ‘Chess’ and ‘Memories’ from ‘Cats’. So many of the favourite songs from the musicals were included and sung so beautifully and with feeling. They concluded the songs from the musicals with ‘Mamma Mia’. However, they gave us an encore of ‘The Flower Duet’ from Lakme’s opera (most of us would know it from the British Airways advert!). It was the perfect ending to a fabulous evening’s entertainment.

April 2023 

Annual General Meeting

On Thursday 20th April 2023, the Manx Stroke Foundation held its 26th Annual General Meeting. Twenty-eight members were present and Dr Khuraijam presided over the meeting. Dr Khurijam gave the opening address with interesting accounts of his travels and work over the years. He informed the meeting that, after 18 years of his Presidency of the Manx Stroke Foundation, he was relinquishing his role as President. It will be a hard act to follow and all were grateful for his dedication to the Stroke Foundation. The annual report and the annual accounts, which had been circulated prior to the meeting, were agreed. The trustees were re-elected to their roles and Jane Bridge was elected as chair for the next year. The trustees are as follows:

Jane Bridge Chair

Maureen Redmayne Secretary

Robyn Redmayne Treasurer

Michelle Ferrer

Elizabeth Forbes

Edward Kelly

Patricia Lambert

Enid Potts

Following the meeting, the members enjoyed light refreshments. 

March 2023

2nd February Search and Rescue Dogs Association

We were delighted to welcome members of the Search and Rescue Dogs Association (SARDA) to our stroke club on 2nd February. Helen and Will brought along Matt, a newly retired rescue dog, and gave an excellent presentation about their organisation. SARDA is a national organisation and the Isle of Man branch was formed in 2004 and is run by volunteers. The search teams consist of the dog, handler and a navigator. The training can take years and they need to reach a very high standard. External examiners assess the Manx teams whilst there are two Isle of Man assessors who will assess those in the UK. They are called out by the police and work to find humans not lost animals. These volunteers can be called at any time but often in the early hours of the morning, so dedication is a must! SARDA relies on donations and fundraising and the volunteers find ways to raise funds. For example, one member did the Parish Walk wearing a dog suit and another did three marathons three days! Throughout the talk Matt, a gentle, friendly collie, checked out the premises and each person in the room, pausing for strokes along the way. It was such a treat for us all to meet Matt and to hear about their work. 

February 2023

2nd March Isle of Man Scout Group

In August of this year, 9 scouts from the Isle of Man will make the trip to South Korea for the 2023 World Scout Jamboree. One of these scouts, Sam, came to our club night on 2nd March with his mother, Wendy, to tell us about the history of these jamborees and their eventful year raising funds for the group to attend. Baden Powell formed the first scout group in 1907 and scouting expanded rapidly. 34 nations and 8,000 young people attended the first World Scout Jamboree. Now more than 150 nations and 45,000 young people attend the Jamborees.

We were treated to some excellent videos of the range of activities and events that occur. The scouts representing the Isle of Man had to apply and attend an assessment day after which only 9 people were chosen. Those chosen are ambassadors for their country. Sam was one of those. But the hard work started for them and their parents having to raise the £40,000 needed to cover their travel and keep. Local businesses have been generous and the scouts have become very good car-parking attendants! Bag packing and cake sales also figured over the year as well as the numerous presentations made to various organisations. They have achieved their goal and exceeded it. The extra monies go to an international fund which is used to help poorer countries send their ambassadors to the Jamboree. Sam and Wendy gave an excellent presentation enjoyed by all and stirred up memories for their audience. 

January 2023

12th January Howard Parkin - Giving back our children the Magic of the night

The first stroke meeting for 2023 on 12th January welcomed Howard Parkin who gave an illuminating talk entitled ‘Giving back our Children the Magic of the Night’. Howard is one of a handful of people in the British Isles who are International Dark Skies (IDA) Advocates and he has achieved Dark Skies discovery status for the Isle of Man with a total of 26 sites on the Island, making us one of the best places to view the night sky. His illustrated talk gave us wonderful views of the sky at night from places such as Niarbyl, the Sound, Sulby reservoir and Mooragh promenade.

All over the world, light pollution has increased considerably, blocking out our view of the night sky. We often think that we are unable to see the Milky Way but go to a Dark Sky site and you will see a beautiful view. Howard told us that light pollution affects not only our view but can also confuse birds, turtles and pollinating bees which then affects plants and trees. There are things that can be done such as having street lights that shine down and not up into the sky. But much more needs to be done.

Throughout the year there will be much to look out for: four meteor showers. A partial lunar eclipse on October 28th, and from now until February, Saturn will be visible in our skies. Should you wish for an IOM summary of sights in 2023 you can email For International Space Station spotting look up and for for the monthly charts. It was a wonderful presentation enjoyed by all who ventured out on a cold and stormy night! 

✍️ 2022 Meetings

December 2022

8th December Christmas Lunch

Forty-one members and guests attended the Christmas lunch at the Hawthorn Inn on 8th December. Once again, all enjoyed an excellent lunch which included menu choices of turkey, beef, vegetarian Wellington, nut roast and salmon, followed by a range of desserts. The room was filled with all the conversations as people caught up on all the news they may have missed over the year. The customary special raffle offered lovely prizes including a Christmas cake and crochet blanket donated by Freda, Shaun and Pauline’s daughter. It was a lovely ending to the stroke club programme for the year 2022.

November 2022

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!

October 2022

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.

September 2022

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!

August 2022

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.

July 2022

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.

June 2022

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.

May 2022

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.

April 2022

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.


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:

Chairman: Jane Bridge

Vice Chairman: David Mammen

Secretary: Maureen Redmayne

Treasurer: Rosie Bridge

Trustee: Edward Kelly

Trustee: Michelle Ferrer

Trustee: Trish Lambert

Trustee: Enid Potts

Trustee Liz Forbes

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.

March 2022

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.

February 2022

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

✍️ 2021 Meetings

December 2021

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.

November 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.

October 2021

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

July 2021

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.

June 2021


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:

Jane Bridge

Michelle Ferrer

Elizabeth Forbes

Ed Kelly

Ewa Kubisty

Trish Lambert

David Mammen

Enid Potts

Maureen Redmayne

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

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.

May 2021

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 back again.

March - April 2021 - No meetings due to Covid 19 lockdown

February 2021

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

✍️ 2020 Meetings

December 2020

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.

November 2020

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 hedgehogs.

October 2020

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.

March - September 2020 No meetings due to Covid 19 

February 2020

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 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 wildflowers.

January 2020

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!

✍️ 2019 Meetings

December 2019

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.

November 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.

October 2019

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.

September 2019

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.

August 2019

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!

July 2019

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.

June 2019

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.

May 2019

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.

April 2019


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.

Chairman: Jane Bridge

Vice Chairman: Les Quayle

Secretary: Maureen Redmayne

Treasurer: Ewa Kubisty

Committee: Paul Allinson

Committee: Trish Lambert

Committee: David Mammen

Committee: Irene Gardner

Committee: Sylvia Willis

Committee: Margaret Allinson

Committee: Bob Kubisty

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.

March 2019

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!

February 2019

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.

January 2019

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.