Gef’s 2020 Yearbook: July to August

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A tremendous boy with a big heart was cheered on by the Great Manx Public as Dylan Walton scaled Snaefell to raise money for Rebecca House. After completing a lap of the NSC, Dylan was given a police escort to the Bunaglow before he climbed the rest of the way, raising over £9,000 in the process. 

Meanwhile antibody testing estimated that up to 2,500 people could have had Covid on the Isle of Man.

The Steam Packet confirmed its new ferry is to be built in South Korea. The replacement for the Ben-my-Chree is due to arrive in Douglas in Spring 2023.

And it was goodbye from me and goodbye from him as HQ and Ashy announced the end of the gov press briefings… for now.

Meanwhile as the island was returning to a degree of normality, the UK was having a war of words with China as democracy protestors in Hong Kong fought back against oppressive rules passed by the Beijing government and even raised the old British Colonial flag in the government buildings. Boris responded by offering full citizenship to qualifying Hong Kong residents.

Boris also announced a loosening of lockdown restrictions in England.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed a historic agreement which ended decades of hostility between the two countries.

Away from politics, Argos announced it was stopping the public of its iconic catalogue and Liverpool reclaimed their perch at the top of English football as Jordan Henderson lifted the club’s first league title since 1990.

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August brought chaos and disorder as students were given grades for exams they never sat, with thousands across the British Isles expected to receive harshly knocked down marks. Eventually ministers, including Dr Al, stepped in as exam boards agreed to award grades based on school teachers’ assessments.

There was also more strife in the schools as hundreds of Manx teachers backed moves to heighten their industrial action, short of striking, as the dispute with the Manx gov reignited having been paused at the height of the pandemic. 

Douglas South gained two new MHKs as Claire Christian and Captain Paul Quine were elected following the retirement of Kate Costain and sad death of Bill Malarkey.

There was cuteness overload at the Wildlife Park as serial escapee Kush and partner Sarah had two red panda cubs.

And islanders bathed in the sun as we enjoyed a four day SuperManx bank holiday weekend.

In the UK debt levels hit £2 trillion for the first time in history as the cost of the pandemic continued to grow.

A large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the port of the city of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, exploded, causing at least 204 deaths, 6,500 injuries and leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless. 

And in America wildfires continued to burn along its west coast devastating wildlife and leaving hundreds of thousands of Americans fleeing for their lives.