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Education Minister pays tribute to former Board chairman 26 June 2008

Education Minister Anne Craine MHK has paid tribute to former Board of Education chairman Betty hanson, who died this week.

Mrs Hanson was born and brought up in Peel, where her father ran a gents’ outfitters. She went on to become a teacher of art and home economics and married Eric Hanson, also a teacher and latterly headteacher at Albert Road Junior School., the Minister said.

It was from this background of experience and knowledge for her subject that Mrs Hanson joined the Board of Education as a non-Tynwald member, serving from 1971-1974. She went on to chair the Board between 1976 and 1981, following her election to the House of Keys in 1974.

Mrs Hanson oversaw the creation of the first secondary school in the west of the Island, Queen Elizabeth II High School, and escorted Her Majesty the Queen at the Royal opening in 1979, said the Minister. As chairman of Tynwald’s Millennium Committee in the run up to the 1979 celebrations, she travelled to America and she was instrumental in the establishment of the North American Manx Awards, which are continued by the Department of Education to this day, rewarding achievements in Manx music, arts and crafts, language, culture and the community.

Mrs Hanson was an articulate and enthusiastic member of the Board of Education whose contribution was valued greatly.

In 1982 she went on to become the first woman elected to the Legislative Council. Until her death at the age of 89, Mrs Hanson she was a governor at St Thomas’s CofE Primary School, where she was committed to ensuring the good education and wellbeing of children.

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