Tributes have been paid to Mark Shimmin, former Chief Financial Officer of the Isle of Man Government, who has died at the age of 66 after a long illness.

Mark was CFO at the Treasury from 2002 until 2013.

This was a period of considerable external challenge for the Isle of Man, and it became known as a leader among small jurisdictions for its successful engagement with international initiatives.

Following his retirement after more than 30 years in the civil service in April 2013, Mark was awarded the MBE for services to the island’s government and economy.

From 2014 until earlier this year, he continued to promote the Isle of Man’s role as an internationally responsible jurisdiction by working as executive director of the Small Countries Financial Management Centre.

This programme, based and funded on the island, supports the development of financial governance and prosperity in small countries around the world.

Born and bred in Douglas, Mark combined an international outlook with a passion for Manx culture and history.

He was a founder member of the Bock Yuan Fannee dance group, served as a trustee of Manx National Heritage, and produced a commemorative booklet on the history of his beloved local pub, the Woodbourne Hotel.

His charitable activities included support for the Crimestoppers organisation and involvement with the Ellan Vannin Home.

Tributes to Mark have been led by former Chief Minister Allan Bell, who was Treasury Minister from 2001 until 2010.

Mr Bell said: ‘The passing of Mark Shimmin is a great loss to the island. His ability in helping steer us through the world banking collapse, the savage reduction in our VAT revenues and other crises can never be overstated. His passion for the island and all things Manx together with his personal integrity made him an outstanding public servant and a good friend.’

Former Chief Secretary Mary Williams added: ‘Mark was respected by everybody, not just here, but also by those he met in the UK Treasury, Washington and wherever he went.’

Anne Craine, former Treasury Minister, said: ‘Mark was the most politically astute civil servant I have ever worked with. His constant oversight for the betterment and protection of the Isle of Man was always at the forefront of his thinking.

‘He was a passionate Manxman who lived and breathed the deep essence of the Island and its culture. He will be deeply missed by his family and all of those who knew him. Mark was the finest of men and a true friend.’

Former Chief Minister and Treasury Minister Donald Gelling said: ‘Mark was always an important, reliable and dedicated member of the team in the financial heart of government and when not in the office was a truly loving family man.

‘He was a true Manxman always ready to sit and talk about the Isle of Man and its people over a mug of tea and a piece of cake. He will be sadly missed.’

Mark leaves wife Barbara, daughters Graihagh and Caitlin, son-in-law James and grandsons Robert and Ben.

•A celebration of the life of Mark Shimmin will be held at St Ninian’s Church, Douglas, at 11.15am on Friday, June 23.