Media Release from Culture Vannin:
AN EXCEPTIONAL DECISION FOR TWO EXCEPTIONAL CULTURAL CHAMPIONS THIS YEAR’S RBV AWARDED POSTHUMOUSLY TO BERNARD CAINE AND JOHN KENNAUGH
Cultural champions of the highest order, Bernard Caine and John Kennaugh, have been honoured posthumously with the Reih Bleeaney Vanannan - Manannan's Choice of the Year - cultural award for 2016.
The RBV selection panel, made up of representatives of cultural organisations, made this exceptional decision in recognition of two exceptional champions of culture and community. Close family and friends gathered in the Methodist Chapel in St John's on Friday 29 January to receive the honours.
Bernard Caine's interests and legacy are both wide and far-reaching. He became actively involved in Manx culture from his early years and this continued throughout his life. He served as a Trustee of the Manx Museum
and National Trust for many years, being appointed its Chairman in 1985. A fluent Manx speaker, Bernard was President of Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh, the Manx Language Society, and represented the Island at international
meetings of the Celtic Congress.
A superb entertainer and singer, he was in demand within concert parties and as a solo performer - his lively sketches, songs in Manx accompanied by autoharp, or tunes on the whistle were well loved, with his hymn
raising, solos and humorous stories a keystone of local eisteddfods. Bernard's deep love of the Island and his great enthusiasm for all things Manx was matched by an ability to convey this enthusiasm to others, quietly sharing his vast store of knowledge of the history, customs, music and language of the Isle of Man. He wore his scholarship lightly and shared it willingly.
A love of the Island, of singing and of the importance of community link these two remarkable men. Bernard was a member of church choirs for over sixty years and John Kennaugh was one of the Manx Music Festival's best
known faces and voices and a cornerstone of the Farmers' Quartet.
Commissioner and Captain of the Parish of German, John Kennaugh was a farmer, family man and a true Manx gentleman. A Methodist lay preacher, magistrate and radio broadcaster, his voice was at the heart of the
community and of a sense of Manxness. His lifelong knowledge and love of Manx farming and the Manx country way of life was shared with all, in later years through his 'Countryside' programme for Manx Radio. A former
president of the Manx National Farmers' Union, he often expressed thankfulness that he was able to follow a farming life, spending time on the hills that he loved so much.
This sense of place was key to his love of the works of Manx national poet, T E Brown. John was well-known for recitations which featured on recordings such as _The Promised Land_ CD, Emily Cook's visual poems for
Island of Culture and on the 2014 BBC Songs of Praise programme where he spoke about Brown's poetry expressing the 'soul of the Island'. The Manx Music festival was blessed by his involvement, with John participating
and being placed in many classes over the years, including the Victorian and Edwardian Ballads, Spoken Word, Folk Song and Bible Reading, as well as competing with the Glenfaba Chorale. On his passing, the festival
paid tribute to what they described as a 'carrey jeh scansh' - an important friend.
Chairman of Culture Vannin, Hon Phil Gawne MHK, commented 'Bernard and John were frequently to be seen working side by side at the very heart of our community. With their breadth of knowledge and deep love of the
Island, its history, landscape and culture, we rightly recognise them now as Manninee Dooie, as true Manxmen, as shining inspiration to future generations.'
The two families were each asked to nominate a charity for a donation of £500. Mrs Caine chose to donate money to the Manx Branch of the Celtic Congress, with which her husband was long involved and which, this
Easter, will host the international gathering in Douglas. Mrs Kennaugh asked for £500 to be donated to the Manx Music Festival, an event and organisation which her husband loved dearly.
'Manannan's Choice of the Year' or the 'Reih Bleeaney Vanannan' is an annual cultural award from Culture Vannin made to an individual or group who has made the greatest contribution to the Island's cultural heritage. The nominees come from a wide variety of backgrounds, working to promote and support language, literature, art, music, dance, history, education and the environment, and many more.
To find out more about the work of Culture Vannin, see www.culturevannin.im
Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Culture Vannin, Hon Phil Gawne MHK and Geoff Corkish MBE MLC with Mrs Joan Caine and Mrs Margaret Kennaugh
Hon Phil Gawne MHK, Mrs Joan Caine and Mrs Margaret Kennaugh
For more information, please contact Dr Breesha Maddrell
DR BREESHA MADDRELL
Thie ny Gabbyl, Ynnyd yn Ollooscoill, Shenn Raad Valley Chashtal,
Doolish, Mannin IM2 1QB
The Stable Building, The University Centre, Old Castletown Road,
Douglas, Isle of Man IM2 1QB