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North American Manx Association Awards 13 July 2005

    The annual North American Manx Association awards were recently presented to students from the Island's secondary schools. The Minister for Education welcomed everyone to the event and thanked the N.A.M.A. for their continuing support of these awards. These awards began in Millennium year, 1979 and were still very well supported in this their 26th year.

    Mrs Betty Hanson, who has been involved with the project from it conception announced the winners of each category.

    The President of the NAMA, Mr Bradley Prendergast who was also on the Island for the North American Manx homecoming presented the medals to each winner in the main categories, and the Speaker of the House of Keys Hon JA Brown presented the Manx language awards.

    Finally the President of Tynwald, Hon. N. Q. Cringle gave a vote of thanks to the N.A.M.A.

    NAMA awards
    North American Manx Awards

    Pictured left - right Front row - Gemma Hurst, Becky Crease, Tony Eccles & Kirsty McManus Back row - Isabel Morrison, Russell Gilmore & Stuart Cannell

    North American Manx Awards 2005 Winners
    Category 1. Music
    Russell Gilmour – Sixth Form Pupil at St Ninian’s High School

    Russell is principal trumpet player in the Manx Youth Orchestra and trumpet player in the Manx Sinfonia. He is Principal French Horn player in the Isle of Man Wind Orchestra and a member of the Manx Youth Choir. He won the Junior Player of the Year Onchan Silver Band and won the attendance award 2003/4. He has also been a prizewinner twice in the Manx Music Festival. He is a representative on the Manx Youth Choir Association and the Friends of the Manx Youth Orchestra Committees. Russell holds Grade 8 Trumpet and Cornet certificates. He designed and created the Manx youth Orchestra website and is currently studying AS Music.

    Category 2. Arts and Crafts
    Becky Crease – Aged 17 Ballakermeen High School

    Becky passed GCSE Art and Design achieving grade A* and she is currently sitting ‘AS’ level Art and Design. Her artwork was chosen to feature in a film called Chromophobia staring Ralph Fiennes and has also been displayed in the Singer and Friedlander Exhibition and the Secondary Schools’ Exhibition at the Courtyard Gallery. She designed the logo for Maughold House at Ballakermeen and designed the website in a Young Enterprise company. She has won several awards including the Muriel Dawson prize for outstanding work in Art and Design.

    Category 3. Manx Language
    Kirsty McManus – Year 11 Ballakermeen High School

    Kirsty began studying Manx in Year 4 at Ashley Hill Primary School and has continued throughout KS 3 and 4. In year 10, she opted to take Manx as an additional GCSE subject which meant her staying behind after school for extra lessons. She is a talented linguist and has recently completed her Manx course. In addition, she has taken part in the Bible Reading in Manx class at the Guild several times and won the Phillip Wilby Caine cup.

    Category 4. Outstanding Contribution to Manx Culture
    Tony Eccles – Aged 15 Ballakermeen High School

    Tony is totally focussed on his vocation to be an actor and has chosen to study Drama at GCSE. He became involved in a production of Le Miserables and his Drama teacher described him as ‘one of the finest young actors they have ever seen’. He has also recited in English and Manx in the Guild. Recently he became involved in the school production of a musical play ‘Candles’, a play is based on the Snaefell mining disaster of 1897. Tony was cast as ‘Henry’ one of the miners who was saved and the father of a young miner who was lost. Since then Tony has gone on to win ‘The Young Actor of Mann’. His commitment and determination are so great that he has accepted a scholarship for the Hammond, a prestigious theatre school in England and one of the reasons for being selected was his performance in ‘Candles’. Tony is Manx to his core and understands fully that it is the opportunities he has experienced here that have begun to shape his future. Wherever he goes he will wear his heritage with pride and is a wonderful ambassador for his country.

    Category 5a. Outstanding Contribution to the Manx Community
    Rosie Grahame – Aged 17 Queen Elizabeth II High School

    Rosie has given up several weekends to assist with residential activities for younger students at Ard Whallin. This has involved river walking, kayaking, assault courses, night walks, supervision of camping etc. She has shown initiative, resilience and patience. She has contributed in any way needed including cleaning the house at the end of the weekends. In addition, Rosie has participated in various school productions including most recently dancing a Sword dance at the Sixth form evening and dancing at the school’s celebration of its 25th birthday. Rosie is a school prefect and helps in numerous ways to make the school community a better place.

    Category 5b. Overcoming a Disability
    Stuart Cannell – Aged 18 Ramsey Grammar School

    Stuart has Muscular Dystrophy and throughout his seven years at RGS his quiet and brave attitude towards this debilitating illness has been quite outstanding. There has been a constant deterioration in his condition but he has never let this stop him. He is expected to pass all of his A Level examinations and has been offered a place at the International Business School to commence a degree course. He will be a great asset to the Manx Business Community. The courage and determination that Stuart has shown is a beacon for other students to see. Stuart hasn’t allowed the illness to beat him, indeed, he has beaten it!

    Category 6. Most Progress in Manx Language
    Isabel Morrison – Year 10 Ballakermeen High School

    Isabel has studied Manx since she was in Year 4 at St Thomas’ and is now studying the GCSE course as an extra ‘twilight’ subject. She has also taken part in the Bible Reading in Manx and also singing in Manx Classes in the Guild.

    Gemma Hurst – Year 10 Castle Rushen High School

    Gemma began her studies at Rushen Primary School and has now opted to take GCSE Manx as a timetabled subject at Castle Rushen High School. She is very interested in Manx culture and takes every opportunity to attend events where Manx Language or music can be heard.

    13th July 2005

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