Beach Buddies Stay at Home

Beach Buddies is cancelling this weekend’s activities due to the strong possibility of roads across the island being seriously affected by the forecast of snow and sub-zero temperatures. 

Founder Bill Dale said: ‘It’s also Valentine’s Day on Sunday – so our male volunteers can now give total concentration to their partners!’

Thanks But Not Thanks

MHKs have rejected a request from MLCs to form a joint committee to look over Daphne Caine’s Bill to lower the threshold for removing a sitting Chief Minister from 16 to 13. A motion by Lawrie Hooper, seconded by The Chief HQ, told the MLCs they wouldn’t be coming. HQ said himself: ‘Replacing a CM is a serious situation, but if you’re going to elect one with 13 votes then I’m sure we can trust future generations of politicians that you’re not going to change one quickly.

‘This is the place where members are elected and I hope in the time between now and July, I don’t have to be eating my words, thank you.’

Guild Trophy Gets New Name

A special silver trophy which was originally presented to the Guild in 1910 has been given a new lease of life as the Eleanor Shimmin Trophy.

Recently appointed a Vice President of the Guild, Eleanor has been associated with the Festival for most of her life, competing in the singing and piano classes as a young woman and later gaining a scholarship to The Royal Academy of Music. Eleanor has won three Cleveland medals, been a Festival accompanist for 25 years, committee member for more than 30 years and taught countless pupils how to sing and play piano in her lifetime. In 2012, she was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s birthday honours for services to music in Manx life. 

The trophy should have been presented to the winner of the American Art Song class for the first time at the 2021 event, however it will now be introduced in 2022 following this year’s cancellation.   

Festival chairman Anne Clarke said: ‘Eleanor is an inspiration to many and has given so much of her time to the Guild over the years that it made perfect sense to recognise her commitment and dedication by introducing a trophy in her name. It is a shame that we are unable to introduce it this year as planned, however it will be a lovely addition for the 2022 Festival.’

Happy New Year China!

The clock has struck midnight in China, ushering in the Lunar New Year.

It is normally the happiest time of the year in China, when families gather to have meals and set off fireworks. But because of coronavirus outbreaks in the country’s north-east, many people will be celebrating alone this year. A “unique but safe” new year is how some state media outlets have been framing the occasion. On the bright side, it has been four days since China recorded a domestically transmitted case of the coronavirus. So, with China’s vaccination programme well under way, there is a lot of optimism for the Year of the Ox.

NHS Waiting Lists Soar

The number of people waiting more than 12 months to start hospital treatment in England was 224,205 in December It’s the highest for any calendar month since April 2008, and compares with 1,467 in December 2019.