[From 1922 Examiner Annual]
Superintendent of the Douglas Primitive Methodist Circuit.
The Rev. Aaron Srnith, who came to the Island in July last, to take the superintendence of the Douglas Primitive Methodist Circuit, and already proved himself a remarkably eloquent speaker and a forceful personality. Mr Smith was horn and bred in the county of Durham, and upon his completing his college course he was sent as a probationer to the Workington circuit. That he early displayed kr, unusual qualities of leadership is shown by the fact that at the close of this probationary period Conference called him to superintend the Canterbury circuit at a critical juncture. For the last eleven years he has laboured in the Bradford and Halifax district and the Liverpool district, and his last charge, which was at Seacombe, was extended by repeated invitation over the long period of seven years. He was a prominent figure in the periodical Synods of the Liverpool district, and held the office of secretary of the District Furnishing mg Fund Committee; and as president of the Seacombe Free Church Council lie gained the esteem of the neighbouring Nonconformist churches. He is married to a daughter of the Rev. William Welford, who at one time was stationed in the Isle of Man.
(Methodist Minister, of Colorado Springs, U.S.A.).
Quite a number of Manxmen have found their vocation in the Christian ministry, alike in Great Britain and in the United States - at least two Bishops in the Methodist Episcopal Church were born in this Island-and among them may be mentioned the Rev. T. C. Collister, who is now serving his fourth year as pastor of the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Mr Colllister, who is just forty years old was born at Poortown, near Peel, a widow's son living in a thatched cottage. he began life on a Peel fishing boat, and subsequently drove a milkcart into Douglas for Mr John Kinvig, then of Kerrow-ne-Glough, Greeba, and afterwards worked as a farm labourer for Mr W. Christian, Kirby, and Mr John Kelly, Baldromma. His next move was into the Snaefell mines, and after further experiences on the Liverpool docks and in coalmines at Wigan, he went to America nineteen years ago. He worked his way through the University of Denver, and at the end of nine years obtained his M.A. degree. Then he went to Boston, for another course of three years, at the end of which term he obtained the degree of S.T.B. (Bachelor of Sacred Theology). and he is now completing his studies for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. All through the courses as he informs his friends, " I worked my way, and kept out of debt, for which I am thankful."
His Honour Deemster Frederic Malcolm LaMothe was born at Ramsey in 1864, the son of the late Mr John Corlett LaMothe, who at various periods of his career held the positions of member of the House of Keys, secretary to the House of Keys, and High-Bailiff of Ramsey. He was admitted to the Manx Bar in 1887 and at the time of his appointment to the Bench was a member of the prominent legal firm of Ring, LaMothe, Farrant, and Cowley. Mr LaMothe has all his life practised in Ramsey and for some years past has had the assistance of Mr W. Percy 6owley. He has had previous experience as a dispenser of justice having been High-Bailiff of B.amsey and Peel since the death of lir J. M. Cruickshank, in 1916. Many years ago he served on the Ramsey Town Commissioners and the Ramsey School Board, in due time becoming chairman of each of these authorities and since his elevation to the High-Bailiffship he has taken the leadership in all movements towards the social welfare of Ramsey. He is chairman of the Ramsey Cottage Hospital, and has held the like office in the Ramsey Golf Club, the Ramsey Lifeboat Committee, and similar institutions. He holds the highest office that Manx Freemasonry has to bestow, namely, that of Provincial Grand Master and has just relinquished a seat on the directorate of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
The latest recruit to the Insular Legislature is Mr George Maddrell, retired master mariner of Douglas, who was elected on October 19th last to represent South Douglas. Captain Maddrell is a native of the constituency, having been born in Queen-street in 1860. He has had quite an adventurous and distinguished nautical career which he began with his father, in the schooner " Bessy," of Douglas, at the age of fifteen. He has held numerous commands, the ulost interesting of which probably was that of the steamship Oriel, of Liverpool. During the Russo-Japanese War, that vessel was engaged in running supplies of munitions to Japan, and the reported capture of Captain Maddrell and his ship was one of the sensations of that war, so far as the British public was concerned. The report, however, proved to be erroneous. The " Oriel" carried similar cargoes on behalf of her own country during the South African .War. For many years Captain Maddrell traded to the Far East, and he is probably as well-mown in certain famous ports as he is in Douglas. A few years ago owing to bad health, he gave up the sea, but when the Great War broke out in 1914, he responded to the call, and at short notice took command of the Rachel," which was henceforth officially known as "Transport 379," and he served in the war zone for over two years, until his Health completely broke down. The captain is a racy speaker and a brilliant raconteur and his first two or three essays to the Legislature have met with most generous appreciation. He is a singularly learned Freemason, and has delighted and instructed many of the Insular "brethren" with lore gained from lodges in America and the Colonies.
Scarcely second, in its inestimable public usefulness, to the great traffic company which brings the visitors here, is the great amusement company which makes the visitors feel that it is worth their while to stay here. The Palace and Derby Castle, Limited, controls five places of public diversion - the Gaiety Theatre, the Palace, Derby Castle, the Grand Theatre, and the Crescent Picture House to say nothing of the yet undeveloped Buxton's site--and throughout its existence it has given visitors and residents the opportunity of hearing the finest vocalists and musicians, witnessing the smartest plays, and being entertained by the cleverest comedians, in the country, while at least two of its buildings, the Gaiety Theatre and the Palace Ballroom, are hardly to be excelled the world over. It is no light responsibility to be managing director of a concern like that. Mr Charles Fox became secretary and manager of The Palace in 1893, and when that institution and Derby Castle came under the one ownership, in 1898, the new company appointed him general secretary and manager. He succeeded to the office of managing director in 1919. Mr Fox's father, the late Mr Charles Fox, senior, was actively interested in various important local companies. During the war Mr Fox held a captaincy in the Isle of Man Volunteers.
The Manx public suffered a severe blow on September 23rd last, in the passing of Mr Thomas Stephen Corlett, member of the House of Keys for Garff, and one of the Island's most successful and useful business men. Mr Corlett was 59 years old, and was a native of Laxey, his father being the late Mr Thomas Corlett, miller, who in his day also served his country as a legislator. The business begun by Mr Corlett, senior, was greatly developed by his sons, the subject of this memoir and Mr Robert Teare Corlett, J.P., Captain of the Parish of Lonan until, at the time of the Great War, it was fortunately found capable of meeting the entire wants of the population of the Island, greatly swollen as it was by the establishment of the Alien Detention Camps at Douglas and Knockaloe. The firm branched out as seedsmen, corn merchants, manufacturers of cattle " cakes," etc., and acquired premises in Douglas, Ramsey, and Castletown, and quite recently the undertaking was amalgamated with that of Mr T. B. Cowley, corn and umber merchant, Ramsey. Mr Corlett sought legislative honours in 1908, and was defeated by a narrow majority, but he successfully renewed the attack in 1919. He had an abhorrence of wasted time, and never intervened in debate except on some subject of which he had practical knowledge, but he was always listened to with respect, and as a member of the Highway Board, his sound judgment and his capacity for well-conceived enterprise made him of great service. He was a Wesleyan local preacher, and had held numerous offices in connection with the Laxey, Lonan, and Rose Mount Churches, and in connection with the larger organisation of the Douglas circuit.
Mr George Corlett Preston, who was in October last elected a member of the House of Keys for Garff is 64 years of age, and has just retired from the headinastership of the South Cape. elementary school, Laxey, of which he had charge for exactly forty years. He is a native of the Island, and had a Manx mother-one of the well- known family of Corletts, Broughjiarg, Ballaugh, In 1872 his father, who prior to that date was master of the elementary school at Ballaugh, removed to Yorkshire, and the subject of this notice became a pupil teacher at Bingley, near Bradford. On completing his college course, he spent two years teaching in Halifax, and then came to the Island to take up the post which he has just vacated. During the whole of his career in Laxey he has interested himself in local public affairs; he is an ex-chairman of the Laxey Village Commissioners, a churchwarden, and treasurer of the newly- forniecl local branch of the Y.M.C.A. On matters of national politics, too, he has always taken it strong line, and although he was not officially described as a Labour candidate at the recent election, he is a prominent worker in the Labour cause. He has rendered much service to his own labour organisation, and at the time of going to press his was the accepted nomination for the Presidency of the Isle of Man branch of the National Union of Teachers, an office which he has held previously. He is a Past Provincial Grand Master in the Independent Order of Oddfellows.
Mr Edward Corris was a scholar in the Mathematical and Grammar School, Peel, and after the lamented death of Mr John Gawne, acted as Master of the School until entering St. John's College, Battersea. After this he filled responsible educational posts in the West of England and in Liverpool. In 1876 he was appointed by the Education Department to. assist as Inspector in a newly-formed district in the east of Yorkshire, and while attached to this district was instructed to give temporary help in various districts both in London and the Provinces. In voluntary work he was on the House Committee of the Victoria Hospital, Hull, and on the Executive of the East Riding and Lincolnshire Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. In Freemasonry he received high honours from the Province of N. Bc E. Yorks as Pr. S.G. Warden was Pr. G.S.N. in the R.A. Chapter, and also Pr. G.S. Warden in the Mark Degree. He is retired now, and residing in Peel finds service in some of the activities of his native place. He is interested in Church and Friendly Society Work, is on the Lifeboat Committee, and is chairman of the Board of Guardians. This year (1921) he is Provincial Grand Master of the Isle of Man District of the Order of Oddfellows (Manchester Unity).
Mr James Henry Skillicorn was born at Knockaloe Moar, Patrick. He is the eldest son of the late Mr J. T. Skillicorn and grandson of the late Mr Robert Skillicorn, of Milntown, Lezayre. He served his apprenticeship to the grocery and bakery trade with Mr G. Thompson, formerly of Peel. Having an inclination for the sea, he joined the Navy, but after about a year's service he received his discharge, having failed in the eye test. For the past fifteen years he has been engaged in the wholesale grocery and provision trade, and about two years ago united with Mr R. J. Clague on the North Quay. He has for many years been attached to the Buck's Road Primitive Methodist Church, serving five years as Society Steward, and is at present the Circuit Steward. He is a Past Chief Ruler in the Independent Order of Rechabites. He contested St. George's Ward in 1919 for a seat on the Town Council, but did not succeed; however, he was elected to represent Murray's Ward this November.
Almost the most prominent figure in Manx politics to-day is Mr Albert Hugh Teare, who has represented Ramsey in the House of Keys since June, 1918, when he was elected to replace the late Mr W. T. Crennell. Mr Teare is an exceptionally graceful and facile speaker and always devotes an infinitude of pains to the preparation of his case, and though his attitude is sometimes a source of disappointment to his friends, it cannot be gainsaid that he exercises considerable influence, and has again and again demonstrated his usefulness. Mr Teare was born in Ramsey 43 years ago, the eldest son of the late Mr Robert Hinds Teare, agent. As a youth he became a clerk with the late Mr Robert Cowley, M.H.K. corn and timber merchant, Ramsey, and remained in that employ for several years, after which he followed a similar occupation for a short time in Liverpool. In 1900, consequent on the failure of Dumbell's Bank, the "Ramsey Courier" newspaper came into the market, and Mr Teare became the proprietor and editor. On the anniversary of his majority in that capacity, he relinquished control of the business, in November last. Mr Teare possesses almost boundless energy, and is an irresistible organiser. and for twenty years he has done much of the spade work for the numerous voluntary public institutions in Ramsey. The secretaryship of the Ramsey Lifeboat Committee, which he now holds, is one instance out of very many. During the war he acted as quartermaster to the Ramsey Company of the Loyal Manx Volunteers, and he was chairman of the committee which administered the unemployment donations. He is a director of the Ramsey Gas Company and the Ramsey Waterworks Company, and has just been co-opted on the board of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, in the room of Deemster LaMothe. Mr Teare is a local preacher in the Ramsey Wesleyan circuit.