Sulby has lost one of its best- loved sons with the death of Raymond Caley at the age of 76.
Mr Caley, who ran Sulby Stores for many years, passed away on Friday at Beaconsfield Residential Home, Ramsey, where he’d been cared for since the beginning of December.
Former Treasury Minister Eddie Teare paid tribute to his long-time friend: ’He was a very self-effacing person, nice to know, good company.
’He was very supportive of village life and the local charities, but he never wanted any recognition. He was one of the old characters in the community. When you went into the shop you always received high class, personal service. He took a genuine interest in the customers.
’He was very popular with the children who came into the shop, and this Christmas he received a huge card signed by every child in Sulby School’.
Mr Caley lived his whole life in Sulby but was actually born in Kirk Michael on January 13, 1941. His mother was visiting her parents when there was a heavy snowfall and she was unable to return home in time.
Raymond lived with his parents in Clenagh Road until he was 15, which was when they moved into Sulby Stores.
He joined his mother in the business when he left school and eventually took it over.
He retired as village sub-postmaster in 2004 but continued to run the shop, which at weekends was a meeting place for anglers weighing catches and swapping stories.
In his youth he was an active sportsman and captained Sulby Rifle Club when it was the first team in the island to score a straight 800. He was also the leading goal scorer on the island hockey team. But his real passion was fishing and he enjoyed annual fishing trips in Ireland with friends.
In 2011 the community organised a surprise 70th birthday party for him. Presenting him with the Captain of the Parish’s prize for devotion to the community in 2011, Dennis Duggan CP said: ’Raymond does an awful lot of charity work behind the scenes and has done for a long time.’
On his 76th birthday last month he received a succession of visitors at Beaconsfield. ’Staff were worried he might be too tired to see people but he was really happy to see them all,’ said Mr Teare.
Mr Caley leaves cousins and a great many friends.
A cremation service takes place next Friday (February 17) at 10.45am, with a thanksgiving service the following day at Sulby Methodist Chapel at 2.30pm. ’It will be a service of celebration and thanksgiving and definitely no dark clothing. That’s exactly what he wanted’, said Mr Teare.