The government of the Isle of Man is hosting a couple from Tristan da Cunha, sort of an island to island exchange, so the Tristanians can see how things are done in another British dependency.
Martin Green and his wife Iris Green arrived on Monday last week in Douglas, the capital and major town of the Isle of Man, where they were welcomed by a variety of people who gave them an orientation to the community. Arrangements for the four month exchange have been made by the Mann government, with funding provided by Tristan.
The Isle of Man is located in the Irish Sea about halfway between Blackpool and Belfast. It is much larger than Tristan and has a far larger population—over 84,000 compared to about 260.
Its economy used to be focused on agriculture and fishing, much as Tristan’s is today, but it is now mostly based on tourism, manufacturing, and offshore banking. A self-governing British dependency, the island has a history of human habitation stretching back more than 8,500 years. The people used to speak Manx, a Celtic language which is now critically endangered.
Mr. Green, an employee of Tristan’s Agriculture Department for 23 years, will be working in the Isle of Man’s Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture while they are living on Mann. He will work on Manx farms, with veterinarians, and at the island’s creamery.
Mrs. Green, who is in charge of the Post Office and the Philatelic Bureau on Tristan, a major source of revenue for her community, will work at the host government’s post office, the Tourism Division of its Department of Economic Development, and at the Manx National Heritage. The Isle of Man Post sells stamps and first day covers to collectors, much as Tristan does.
Martin commented that “we have enjoyed a very warm welcome in the Isle of Man and are looking forward to experiencing life in another island community.” Notwithstanding the warm welcome, the Tristan couple are finding the weather somewhat chilly in Douglas. Perhaps their departure from the South Atlantic during the austral summer left them a bit unprepared for the cold northern winter. Iris commented that her husband should have ample opportunity to use his Tristan sweater when touring farm fields, with the wintry blasts coming in off the Irish Sea.
Mrs. Green summed up benefits they anticipate from their exchange experience. “This is a fantastic opportunity to work alongside the people of the Isle of Man to see how things are done here and to develop our knowledge and skills,” she said.