History of the Roll of Honour
The Tynwald Honours Committee began life as the Select Committee on Manx Patriots. This Committee was appointed by Tynwald on 16th April 1997 ‘to consider whether and, if so, in what ways it would be appropriate for the Island to further commemorate Manx patriots’.
The Select Committee reported to Tynwald in November, making various recommendations for the commemoration of Manx patriots.
The Select Committee defined the use of the terms ‘patriot’ and, more specifically, ‘Manx patriot’. Taking inspiration from the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition for the term, it was decided that ‘patriot’ should be understood as ‘one who disinterestedly or self-sacrificially exerts himself or herself to promote the well-being of his or her country’. ‘Manx patriot’ was defined as a person who has chosen the Isle of Man as the country to which he or she gives allegiance, so as not to exclude those born elsewhere.
Having considered some objections to the idea of commemorating patriots, the Committee decided that it would nevertheless be appropriate to ‘to further commemorate Manx patriots’. It concluded that ‘the most appropriate and dignified method of commemoration is the institution of a Manx Patriots’ Roll of Honour’.
The Select Committee suggested the criteria for inclusion of a person in the Roll of Honour. These were that the ‘person must be shown to have disinterestedly or self-sacrificially exerted himself or herself to promote the well-being of the Isle of Man’; ‘no living person be considered for inclusion’, and ‘inclusion on the Manx Patriots’ Roll of Honour be not restricted to persons born in the Island or of Manx parentage’.