Douglas Council is to award the honorary freedom of the borough to retired lawyer Geoff Karran.
The resolution to give the honour was unanimously agreed at a private meeting of the council in recognition of Mr Karran’s tireless dedication to charitable causes and his support of Manx sporting endeavour by all ages and all abilities, through which he has contributed to promoting the global profile of the Isle of Man.
Admitted to the Manx Bar aged 22 in 1969 – the youngest advocate ever to be admitted – Manx-born Mr Karran enjoyed a distinguished career in the legal profession becoming senior partner at Dickinson Cruikshank and Co and President of the Isle of Man Law Society between 1995 to 1998, while also supporting many charitable causes.
After retiring in 2007 he continued his charitable work, in particular helping develop sporting facilities for disabled as well as élite athletes.
In 2008 he was awarded the MBE for services to sport and the disabled.
He is also a past recipient of the Isle of Man Newspapers Awards for Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mr Karran was a driving force behind the development of the National Sports Centre and served as chairman of the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games organising committee.
He is chairman of the Manx Gateway Club and also of Project21, the Manx-registered charity which provides purpose-built sport and recreational facilities for people with special needs.
Among his other appointments he has served as chairman of the Financial Supervision Commission since April 2012, and as police complaints commissioner since March 2009, and he remains an honorary legal adviser to several charities and sporting organisations in the island.
Married with four children Mr Karran is a lifelong Manchester City Football Club supporter and has attended the club’s every Wembley appearance since 1969.
On learning of the council’s resolution Mr Karran said: ‘This has come as a great surprise. I am so honoured to receive this award from the town of my birth.
‘The things that I have achieved during my life can largely be attributed to the fantastic support I have received from my family and also by being privileged to work with so many dedicated, talented and efficient people in the various groups I have been associated with.’
Council leader David Christian said: ‘Members agreed unanimously to confer the honorary freedom of the borough of Douglas on Geoff Karran.
‘He is the very epitome of “service to the community” and has championed many deserving causes and, in so doing, helped make a very real difference to people’s lives, in particular the lives of those less able.
‘Following his illustrious career in the legal profession he has selflessly devoted his time to charitable causes and become a leading figure in the island’s sporting life. An accomplished cricketer in his own right Geoff has channeled his passion for sport into helping others develop their own sporting potential regardless of their ability. It is thanks to his commitment, motivation and ability to inspire others that the Isle of Man has gained international recognition as a nation capable of staging a truly world-class sporting event – the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games. It is also thanks to Geoff’s drive – and the enduring support of his wife Elan and his family – that his vision of a purpose-built recreational facility for people with learning difficulties, Project21, became a reality.
‘Geoff Karran’s experience, wise counsel and selfless devotion to the community have earned him many accolades and awards, not least a deserved MBE for his contribution to sport and support of the disabled in the Isle of Man. The council is therefore proud to be recognising his achievements by conferring upon him the honorary freedom of the borough of Douglas.’
The conferment ceremony will be held at Douglas Town Hall on Friday, September 14.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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