On Saturday 3rd February at 2.30pm in the Guild Room, alongside the Methodist Church in Atholl Street, Peel, Hazel Hannan gave a very interesting talk about the Suffragettes and their Manx connection. However, although propertied spinsters and widows were given the vote in 1881, there was no agitation leading up to it, other than the general call of ‘No taxation without representation’.
Sophia Jane Craine, originally of Lonan, later of Douglas, was the mother of Emmeline Pankhurst. In a speech during a visit to the USA in the early twentieth century, Emmeline Pankhurst said that it was perfectly natural for her to think of women having the vote because that had been the case with her mother. Sophia Jane and her husband, Robert Goulden, had retired in the 1880s to the property which the family had maintained in Douglas, and she had the opportunity to vote following Robert’s death.
Hazel Hannan is well-known, of course, not just for voting, but for being voted for, having represented Peel as a Member of the House of Keys and holding ministerial office. In her talk she referred to the first woman in the House of Keys, Marion Shimmin, who had become the MHK for Peel in 1933.
Hazel is currently a member of Peel Town Commissioners. She is also a patron of the Manx branch of the Celtic Congress.