Government House is pleased to announce that Her Majesty The Queen has recognised three people in the Isle of Man in the 2022 New Year Honours List, which is published on 31 December 2021.
Mr Colin Leather MBE
Colin Leather has dedicated the majority of his life to Castletown, striving to improve the town for its residents. As one of the Island’s longest standing chairmen, he has been Chairman of the Castletown Commissioners on six occasions, and was also Secretary of Castletown Festival for 30 years. On behalf of the Castletown Chamber of Trade and Commerce, he managed the Castletown Markets, held in Castletown Market Square from 1979 to 2011 and is always passionately promoting and helping businesses relocate to Castletown. For 20 years he has helped to raise funds for the Southern 100 Club and has not been deterred by his own serious illnesses. His drive and commitment have seen the transformation of the Market Square from a car park into a community space, which has made a difference for visitors as well as residents. For his long service to the community of Castletown, Colin Leather is made an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2022.
Mrs Bernadette Williams MBE
In her work for the Royal British Legion (RBL) and Tynwald, Bernadette Williams has represented the Isle of Man, both on-island and in Great Britain, for nearly 40 years. She was a member of the RBL Women’s Section from 1983 to 1995, and has been a Standard Bearer for the Isle of Man County and North West Region and won the Great Britain Standard Bearer title for five consecutive years. She has been Standard Bearer for numerous state occasions, and throughout this time, she has taken the time to train junior Standard Bearers to her exacting standard, some of whom have emulated her success. On retiring from ceremonial duties with the Royal British Legion, she was appointed Sword Bearer for Tynwald, a duty she has carried out for 25 years. The Queen has made Mrs Williams an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2022 for long service to the Isle of Man and the Royal British Legion.
Mr Alexander (Alex) Townsend BEM
The Queen has awarded the British Empire Medal to Alex Townsend in the New Year’s Honours List 2022 for services to education in the Isle of Man. In the 1990s, Alex Townsend came up with the innovation of converting a single-decker bus into a mobile classroom to teach the island’s primary school children about creative use of computers. With the support of Manx Telecom and the Isle of Man Government, the Computerbus was launched in 1998, led by Mr Townsend until 2020. Described by an Apple spokesperson as ‘stroke of brilliance’, Mr Townsend and the Computerbus have helped tens of thousands of Manx pupils learn critical ICT skills, including design work, filmmaking and code, and have led the island’s young people into creative careers all over the world. In 2014, in celebration of 30 years since the first Apple Mac was released, Mr Townsend was recognised alongside 29 other ‘pioneers’ across a range of backgrounds and industries, who had made a 'profound impact' in the field of computing.