Gef’s Morning Brief

Raina’s Retirement

The new Mayor of Douglas Janet Thommeny has praised outgoing Mayor Raina Chatel who has retired from the Council after nearly four decades of service.

A hotelier for more than 50 years and a member of the former Board of Education for 27 years, her retirement marks the end of a loyal and devoted service to Douglas which began when she was first elected as a Douglas councillor representing Victoria Ward in 1985.

In a vote of thanks, Councillor Ian Clague MBE said Mrs Chatel had displayed ‘dignity, professionalism and assurance’ and, along with her late husband George, had been a tireless ambassador for the Borough of Douglas and an ardent supporter of the local community whose dedication, vast experience and expertise would be missed.

Also Mayor of Douglas in 1994-95, Mrs Chatel and her Mayoress Mrs Deirdre Chatel, her sister-in-law, were praised for their outstanding efforts and dedication since last August during which they helped raise funds for homeless charity Graih, the Manx Youth Band and children’s hospice Rebecca House – in memory of former Mayor and Councillor, Debbie Pitts – attending more than 100 engagements and over 40 Council meetings in the process.

He said after such distinguished service, the Council Chamber would not be the same without her presence.

Mrs Chatel, who was presented with a commemorative plaque, received a standing ovation from the entire chamber.


Far Shore Merchants has announced its sponsorship of this year’s 40th anniversary Peggy Round Mann Yacht Race which takes place on June 3 and 4 over the extended Jubilee weekend holidays.

The 65 nautical mile circumnavigation of the Isle of Man, organised by the Isle of Man Yacht Club, will start as usual from Port St Mary at 7am with competitors given a 30-hour time limit to complete the course. It is open to any ballasted sailing vessel and is well-known amongst the sailing community for its challenges of tricky tidal conditions as well as unpredictable weather.

Doug Hey, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Far Shore Merchants, said: ‘We are thrilled to support the Round Mann Yacht Race, one of the key events in the Island’s sailing calendar.  With many of our products having a nautical theme, it seemed a great opportunity – and a very apt way – to help a local sailing organisation continue a long-held tradition.’

Commodore of the Isle of Man Yachting Club Phil Hardisty said: ‘We are very grateful to Far Shore Merchants for sponsoring our 40th anniversary race and for bringing their PR and marketing experience to the event. The Peggy Round Mann Race is unusual in today’s era of competitions as it is more of an offshore “sprint” with its 30-hour time limit. Tidal and weather conditions usually ensure that there is much for teams to consider as they navigate their way around the Island so it is an exciting prospect for yachtsmen and women. 

‘With the event taking place in the middle of this year’s TT Fortnight, as well over the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, we are looking forward to increased numbers of both competitors and spectators.’

For more information and to enter go to:

Parish Partnership

International Financial Group Limited (IFGL), which owns the RL360, Friends Provident International Limited and Ardan International brands, has been appointed the official Sustainability Partner of the Manx Telecom Parish Walk. The partnership has been agreed for a three-year period as the hugely popular event steps up its commitment to reducing its environmental impact.

As well as encouraging walkers and their support crews to think about what they bring along on the day and minimise the creation of rubbish, IFGL has helped the Parish Walk to introduce a new waste disposal system. This year, all walkers will be provided with a reusable, foldable and light SpeedCup sponsored by Mann Made Group when they sign on for the race.

The Group’s Marketing Director Simon Barwell said: ‘We’re proud to play a part in making one of the Isle of Man’s signature events more environmentally friendly. It’s a hugely successful event – a lot of our staff take part, in fact Ardan’s Head of Operations Richard Gerrard is synonymous with the Parish Walk, having won it an outstanding five times since 2012.’

Parish Walk Race Director Raymond Cox added: ‘We’ve been planning a move towards a more sustainable Parish Walk for some time and now, with the help of our Sustainability Partner IFGL, we’re making it a reality. We’d ask that all those involved support us in our efforts and help us by not leaving anything behind in our beautiful Manx countryside except their footprints.’