Evening celebrating Mona Douglas

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AN evening celebrating Mona Douglas will take place on Thursday, October 18.

The contribution Mona Douglas made to the cultural life of the Isle of Man is still influential. And in the 25th year since her death, Ramsey Heritage Trust picks up the theme with an evening celebrating her in words and music.

Annie Kissack, Charles Guard and friends will be in St Paul’s Church, Ramsey, on October 18 with ‘Harp, Soul and Voice’.

Drinks and nibbles will be available afterwards. Tickets cost £3 non-members and £2 for members.

The evening will be a tribute to Mona Douglas’ poetry.

Born at the end of the 19th Century, Mona grew up in Ballaragh, Lonan, and developed a life-long love of Manx culture – the music, the dancing and the language. She went on to write more than 18 books about the island and to found various cultural groups. She died aged 89 in 1987.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, November 15, Where are we now? will be a ‘mystery tour’ of an older island with guide Jack Kaighin at Ramsey town hall, starting at 7.30pm.

Members have also been notified that conceptual artist Christina Henri, from Hobart in the Australian state of Tasmania, will be visiting the island next month to talk about Roses from the Heart, the evocative name of a worldwide project to remember the 25,000 women convicts transported far away from family and loved ones, from Britain to Australia, in the 19th Century.

The project was initiated by Christina who was so moved by the story of the women convicts that she set out to find a way in which to pay tribute to those women. Using an original servant’s bonnet pattern, she encouraged women across the world to embroider a bonnet and contribute to an exhibition.

She chose the name ‘Roses from the Heart’ because of its symbolism, and she expressed the hope that the bonnets sewn throughout the world would be made with empathy and love.

The Embroiderers’ Guild in the Isle of Man was part of the project.

A workshop in 2010, led by Marie Radcliffe together with Dee Newson, launched the Manx contribution.

Marie said previously: ‘In 2000, Hampton Creer published a book about the transportation of Manx prisoners to the penal colonies. We asked his permission to use some of his stories for our project, which he was delighted to give. We now have the names, crimes committed, date of transportation, name of the ship and convict number for the women who went from the island.

‘Eighteen of the bonnets are in memory of the women who were transported from the island and the rest are for women who travelled on the Cadet, a boat that was built at the Bath Shipyard in Douglas.’

Christina’s talk will be at the Manx Museum, Douglas, on November 2 at 7.30pm under the title ‘Two sides of a coin’. Tickets from the Manx Museum cost £8.

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