Dr Brian Stowell receives top Manx cultural award

UNRIVALLED in his contribution to the teaching of Manx, Dr Brian Stowell has been awarded the Reih Bleeaney Vanannan.

The annual cultural award was presented by chairman of the Manx Heritage Foundation and Ramsey MHK Anne Craine.

Born in Douglas in 1936, Dr Stowell was educated at Murray's Road School, Douglas High School and Liverpool University, where he took a BSc (Hons) degree in physics in 1958.

He worked as a physicist in England, gaining a doctorate in applied physics. He was later a lecturer at the John Moore University in Liverpool.

Before leaving the Island to go to university Dr Stowell learnt to speak Manx by going round with a group who were making sound recordings of the last old native speakers.

He returned to the Island in 1991 to take up the newly created post of Manx language officer in the Department of Education.

Dr Stowell has written several Manx courses and published many articles in and about Manx and Celtic matters in general.

After retiring from the DoE he continued to be active in the Manx Gaelic revival by teaching and writing as well as broadcasting weekly on Manx matters on Manx Radio.

He is a tireless translator of Manx material, producing articles, books, and courses. His contribution to the teaching of Manx is both important and unrivalled.

He received the Reih Bleeaney Vanannan award after being nominated by members of the public.

Mrs Craine said it was a richly deserved honour for someone who had contributed so much to the cultural life of the Isle of Man.

A 500 donation to the Manx language group Mooinjer Veggey, who run the Manx Gaelic school at St John's, was made by the foundation on Dr Stowell's behalf.

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