Tributes Paid to Former Speaker David Cannan

David Cannan, the former MHK for Michael and father of Chief Minister Alfred Cannan has died at the age of 85.

John David Qualtrough Cannan served in the House of Keys from 1982 to 2011.

Throughout a distinguished career, he served as Treasury Minister from 1986-89, as Speaker of the Keys from 2000-01.

Mr Cannan will also be remembered as a member of the Alternative Policy Group, which included other giants of Manx politics such as Dr Edgar Mann, Adrian Duggan, Dominic Delaney and Edgar Quine.

Upon his retirement from the Keys in 2011, Mr Cannan said: ‘I have been privileged to represent the Michael constituency for almost 29 years being first elected in October 1982. During these years I have endeavoured to serve the community and island to the best of my ability.

‘There have been successes as well as setbacks and my biggest regret is the failure to provide a fit for purpose surgery and medical centre in Kirk Michael, sea defences against coastal erosion at Kirk Michael and the creation of a viable and sustainable village at Jurby.

‘I thank truly and most sincerely all the residents in the constituency of Michael and indeed throughout the island who have given me their strong support, help and encouragement during the past almost 29 years.’

Speaker Juan Watterson SHK paid tribute to Mr Cannan saying he was a ‘political grandee spanning a generation of Manx politics’.

Mr Watterson added: ‘A political career of almost thirty years took him from Treasury Minister to Speaker. I was privileged to work alongside him during his final term and see a political operator in action. He was particularly proud of his involvement in providing sheltered housing in Kirk Michael, and worked tirelessly with his wife Patricia to support his constituents in multiple endeavours.’

The President of Tynwald, The Hon Laurence Skelly MLC, said: ‘For nearly three decades David served the constituency of Michael with distinction.  During his tenure he held esteemed posts and will also be remembered as an articulate and formidable debater where he achieved many positive outcomes for the people he represented.’