At the end of her year in office Councillor Carol Malarkey reflected: ‘As Mayor I’ve been privileged to have seen Douglas and the Isle of Man from a whole different angle.
‘And the view has been truly eye opening. I have been amazed, delighted - and sometimes not a little humbled - discovering just what a fantastic community we’re lucky enough to live in, here in the Isle of Man.’
It was a sentiment that distinguished her term as Mayor and one that saw her, together with her Mayoress, Councillor Sara Hackman, and legions of volunteers and supporters raise £15,000 for four charities close to her heart.
‘As Mayor and Mayoress, Sara and I tried to do what we could to help make just a little difference through the mayoral charity appeal fund.’
The four charities to benefit were:
- Junior Achievement Isle of Man;
- Manx Workshop for the Disabled;
- Tabitha’s Trust;
- Victim Support.
Additionally Douglas Town Band and the RNLI also received support.
Hers was a year marked by engagements from the formal to the seriously off-the wall and wacky.
These were just some of the (very different) highlights:
- Going ‘Deeply Dippy’ in January (We must have been deeply deranged’);
- Opening a new pharmacy in Ramsey;
- Hosting a lunch for the capital’s leading business representatives;
- Wading in wellies out to the Tower of Refuge;
- Supporting ‘Marathong’ (men in novelty pants) in aid of Manx Cancer Help;
- Meeting students from Liuyang in Hunan Province, China;
- Welcoming Manx and Swedish folk dancers to the town hall;
- Serving as a Douglas town hall tour guide;
- Launching the 2013 Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal;
- Switching on the Christmas lights;
- Looking into the future with a clairvoyant;
- Riding with Santa on a horse tram;
- Meeting Ellan Vannin Care Home residents;
- Manoeuvring a mobility scooter to promote the Saturday Shopmobility scheme;
- Volunteering for Junior Achievement;
- Recognising employees’ long service achievements;
- Being in charge of the klaxon at the launch the 2014 Bra Dash in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer;
- Shaving off a police officer’s beard (for charity);
- Serving as a ‘Santa’s little helper’ at Port Erin railway station;
- Saving the day for children from the Little Learners nursery in Lancashire after their ‘Holiday Bear’ went missing;
- Unveiling a plaque to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Archibald Knox;
- ‘Ferreting in the undergrowth’ in Hills Meadow, to help clear rubbish in support of the Council’s Big Tidy Up campaign.
There were also sombre occasions and times for pausing in quiet reflection.
The civic year coincided with the 40th anniversary of one of the most tragic events in Manx modern-day history: the Summerland fire disaster. To mark the occasion, on Friday August 2nd 2013 in the Kaye Memorial Garden, she unveiled a memorial dedicated to the 50 people who perished. Then, in 2014, on November 10th at the Council’s annual Remembrance Sunday service, Councillor Malarkey laid a wreath at the war memoral on Douglas Promenade to honour those who have made the ultimate sacrifice since the First World War.
Looking back over the 12 months Councillor Malarkey said: ‘I was honoured to have been elected, proud to have served and along the way had a brilliant time.
‘But more importantly there were so many occasions when I was genuinely moved by the essential kindness and generosity of spirit that distinguished our community, our town and our Island.
‘It’s an experience I wouldn’t have missed for the world.’