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Tynwald Library exhibition pays tribute to Ramsey Gelling Johnson OBE

His Honour Ramsey Gelling Johnson OBE

​The life and career of His Honour Ramsey Gelling Johnson OBE are to be celebrated in an exhibition - ‘Come On, Keep on Trying’ in the Tynwald Library.

The title for the exhibition was inspired by His Honour’s daughter, Mrs Rosemary Penn MBE, who recalls her father regularly using the exhortation.  Mrs Penn has also generously provided on loan memorabilia that illustrate the achievements of the highly respected ‘Manx Worthy’ who was born in January 1889 and died aged 83, in February 1972.

The exhibition traces his rise from Douglas Grammar School student to one of the Island’s most eminent legal figures, serving as High Bailiff, Second Deemster, President of the Isle of Man Law Society and Clerk of Tynwald. He was also a member of Douglas Town Council, an MHK for Douglas North, Captain of Onchan Parish, Vicar General and a champion of the Island’s farming community, establishing the Manx National Farmers’ Union and becoming the first President of the Royal Manx Agricultural Society in 1951.

His professional career was interrupted by the First World War during which he achieved the rank of Captain and served in the Royal Field Artillery with distinction, only for his military service to come to an end after he was wounded at the Battle of Messines in June 1917 and repatriated. He later resumed public life before retiring in 1954 to pursue his many interests, in particular his love of foreign travel.

At his funeral in 1972 members of the Manx Bar attended wearing their robes as a mark of respect.

‘Come On, Keep on Trying’ will run from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday from January 12th to January 30th in the Tynwald Library.

Located on the ground floor of the Legislative Buildings in Finch Road the Tynwald Library exhibition space provides schools, youth, community and sporting organisations, as well as private individuals and commercial enterprises, with a secure, easily managed area in which to mount Manx-themed displays.  There is no rental charge, only a small commission fee for sales by commercial operators.


For further information:

Clerk of Tynwald's Office

Legislative Buildings, Douglas, IM1 3PW

Tel: (01624) 685500


Published - 22/12/2014