An illuminated address from 1945 by celebrated Manx artist John H Nicholson recognising ‘the associations and friendships’ formed between the Borough of Douglas and the officers and men of the training facility HMS St George during the war years of 1939-45 has been gifted to the Council by Mr John Galt, a former cadet of the Douglas shore establishment which closed in December 1945.
The illuminated address was first presented to the company of HMS St George on December 14 1945 by the then Mayor of Douglas Thomas C Cowin. The closing words of the tribute to the ship’s company read: ‘…the Council have been greatly honoured by their presence in the Borough.’
To mark the 75th anniversary of the presentation Mr Galt (pictured below), who purchased the artwork, painted in water colour and depicting the Tower of Refuge, some 30 years ago from a firm in London, presented it to the current Mayor of Douglas, Councillor Jonathan Joughin JP, on Monday December 14, 2020 in the Council chamber of Douglas Town Hall.
HMS St George opened in September 1939. The facility was divided in various component parts, classroom training taking place at Ballakermeen High School with the cadets billeted at Cunningham's holiday camp which had been requisitioned for the duration of the war and had served as a prisoner of war camp during the First World War.
Mr Galt, 97, joined the Navy in March 1940 and went on to work for Isle of Man Post Office until his retirement.