Half a mile up the hill from Ballakilley Beg is a memorial to a remarkable Manxman, Sir Charles Kerruish. It is beautifully sited, with magnificent views over the fields and across the cliffs to Maughold Head and the Irish sea.
Charles Kerruish was a Manx politician. He served two terms as Chief Minister of the Isle of Man, was President of Tynwald, and Speaker of the House of Keys for twenty-eight years. In addition to his knighthood he was an OBE, a Doctor of Laws, Captain of the Parish of Maughold, Member of the Legislative Council and of course a long-serving Member of the House of Keys.
The memorial was opened in 2012 and is known locally as Charlie’s View. It consists of a stone cairn topped by a polished black slate etched with a map of the Island and an inscription. Nearby is a circular stone seat and two magnificent bronze ravens fastened to the rocks. The ravens are taken from his coat of arms.
The inscription includes none of his awards or titles. It reads simply:
CHARLES KERRUISH 1917 - 2003
WHO LOVED THIS PLACE
To my mind there is something very Manx about this.
It may be that Sir Charles is so famous that all Manx people know who he was. Or it may reflect a mistrust of awards and titles. Generally the Manx are more concerned with character.
But it is hard to imagine any British politician, even one of the few successful ones, being content with such a plain and dignified memorial.