Tribute to ‘towering’ politician Dr Mann

Dr Edgar Mann

Dr Edgar Mann

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Tribute has been paid to a man described as ‘one of the great towering figures of Manx politics’.

Dr Edgar Mann, who served as Chairman of the Executive Council 1985-86, died peacefully in Noble’s Hospital on Friday aged 86 years after a long illness.

He was born on June 24, 1926, in London. He was educated at Reigate Grammar School and then King’s College Hospital Medical School, London. On qualifying as a doctor in 1949 he undertook national service in Hamburg in the Royal Army Medical Corps where he met and married ward sister Joan Redstone in 1951.

On returning to England he shared a medical practice with Dr Clegg, a Manxman, who suggested that one day he should move to the Isle of Man.

Dr Mann remained in the RAMC (TA) rising to the rank of Lieut. Col commanding 131 and 47 Field Ambulances TA.

In 1963 he took over a practice in Elm Park, Essex. Whilst in Elm Park his passion for model railways manifested itself with a model railway that occupied most of his garage and was regularly exhibited.

A year later he moved to Hornchurch in Essex, retaining the Elm Park practice and became one of the first medical practitioners to obtain a Diploma of Medical Jurisprudence. He was also Police Surgeon to K Div. Metropolitan Police, which involved considerable work at night.

In 1973, after warnings of the consequences of overwork, he took up Dr Clegg’s suggestion and moved to the Isle of Man, taking up the appointment of GP for Laxey.

Dr Mann served as a member of the Laxey Village Commissioners from 1974 to 1976 (chairman 1975 to 1976).

In 1976 he was elected MHK for Garff and variously as MHK and MLC represented Garff until 1986 when he lost the election in 1986.

Re-elected in the 1990 by-election, he continued to represent Garff as MHK and MLC until his retirement in 2002.

Dr Mann held a number of government posts which included being a member of the Finance Board 1981 to 1985, member of the Executive Council 1980 to 1986 and Chairman of the Executive Council 1985 to 1986, Acting Speaker of the House of Key 1992 to 1995 and from 1996 to 1999 Minister of Education, remaining a member of the Department of Education until his retirement.

Dr Mann suffered a severe stroke in 1983 which caused him to retire from medical practice although he was able to continue his political career.

He also maintained his interest in model railways, for some years running a specialist shop at Tynwald Mills and continued to develop his O gauge railway within his garden until his death.

Dr Mann was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and while early treatment was successful he eventually succumbed, after fierce resistance, to the complications of his condition.

He leaves a wife Joan, seven children and sixteen grandchildren.

Speaker of the House of Keys Steve Rodan said: ‘Dr Edgar Mann is one of the great towering figures of Manx politics.

‘I worked alongside him in the late 1990s, when I succeeded him as Minister for Education and he continued as a department member, and I found his experience to be invaluable as a young politician.’

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