It is with great sadness that we have to announce the loss of a good friend and committee member of the Manx Branch of the Celtic Congress with the death of Pat Skillicorn. Pat has also attended the International Celtic Congress on a number of occasions in recent years.
Patricia Skillicorn was born in Douglas and brought up in Ballasalla, being taught by the redoubtable Leighton Stowell at Ballasalla Primary School before she moved on to Castle Rushen High School. After working as a civil servant, she went on to take a History degree and a post graduate certificate of education at Goldsmiths College, London and taught for some time on the Wirral before returning to the Island to teach in the newly-opened QEII High School in Peel, where she took up residence.
After being awarded an MA in Manx Studies through the Centre for Manx Studies, Pat also went on to an MA in Creative Writing through the University of Lancaster. She was a committee member of the Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society, including acting as Excursion Secretary and Librarian, and of which she was President in 2001-2.
Pat was active in the work of the Manx Labour Party, and she gives a wonderfully clear account of the success of the Island’s General Strike through the Worker’s Union and its secretary, Alfred J Teare, in her 2016 book, ‘The Hammer of Thor : The impact of the 1st World War (1914-1918) on the people of the Isle of Man’. She had earlier published a book drawing on her own family history, ‘Wave to your Daddy’, in 2006, and a collection of her short stories, ‘Foxgloves’, in 2009.
Unfortunately, Pat became ill in May this year and passed away on 5th September. Our deepest sympathy goes to Leonard and to Pat’s family and many friends.