Courier Report 29th December 2023

Date Published 
Sun 24 Dec 2023

Dave Kneale from Media Isle of Man was the Society’s popular and entertaining final guest presenter for 2023, so we knew his would be a fascinating retrospective, pictorial record of the past year. In what has become an eagerly anticipated annual event now, Dave showed us many of the images he had captured in a far from dull journalistic year. Never still for very long, one wonders where Dave gets all his energy, especially with a young child at home, though she could clearly be seen assisting him (in her own particular way) by editing some of his images from time to time!

Consequently, it was not surprising to see such a good attendance for this last evening before Christmas, despite the stormy weather, the dark nights and several regulars suffering from a variety of winter ailments. (The social gathering afterwards might also have played a part!)

Dave’s chronological sequence of events made us all realise the extent of his demanding role and that, for such a small island, there are so many competing community attractions just waiting to be featured in the ‘local’ newspapers. (It is always quite astonishing to be reminded of what we have all forgotten from the recent past!)

Interestingly, the year began with various industrial picket lines involving NHS staff, teachers, and seafarers. The Holocaust Memorial Day Service in late January provided an opportunity for people of all ages and faiths to reflect on the lessons from the Holocaust and genocides that have taken place in past years. This was cleverly represented by a picture of the Torah and the Yad, followed by a beautiful depiction of the Northern Lights, taken from Kirk Michael. Though not used too often, Dave’s drone had been deployed to good effect, impressing members by the improving quality of several aerial images.

Our canine friends seemed to feature prominently in 2023, from those who had gone ‘missing’ to others who had been pictured for other noteworthy reasons. As in 2022, His Excellency, who also seems to have found the secret to eternal youth, appeared many times throughout the year, from competing in the Parish Walk to helping at the annual Beer Festival again. (Midge, the Government House dog, was also pictured more than once!) Photographs of various sporting events are always popular with readers and rugby; soccer and cricket action were included by this intrepid newshound too.

At certain times of the year, when news can be a bit thin on the ground, Dave uses his ingenuity to keep the images coming, by covering such stories as the last manned steam railway crossing to close in Santon, the Relay for Life, and the Laxey Duck Race. Every picture featured maintains the readers’ interests and can replace a thousand words.

The Society will resume its meetings at 7.00 pm on the 17th January, 2024, when all members and their guests will be welcomed back to the St John Ambulance HQ off Glencrutchery Road, for another practical evening and a non-competitive challenge!

By Antony Hamilton