The retirement of Bob Allison as Manx Radio broadcast engineer to Tynwald has been recognised with the presentation of an illuminated address by the President of Tynwald, the Hon Steve Rodan MLC.
Mr Allison was part of a Manx Radio team of engineers involved with Tynwald for some 12 years, notably in the Chambers’ refit scheme that saw the installation of the voice recognition and electronic voting systems, a project which, he explained, had taken some three and a half miles of cabling to complete.
Stepping out from his usual Tynwald ‘home’, the commentary box, to reflect on his time serving the Parliament of the Isle of Man Mr Allison, who was accompanied by his wife, Jan, a former Hansard stenographer, said: ‘I shall always remember the friendliness and professionalism of the people.’ He went on to say how he had been pleased to have contributed to the technical elements of Tynwald proceedings, ‘snippets’ of which he had always enjoyed catching while working in the commentary box.
Making the presentation Mr President referred to Mr Allison as a key ‘behind-the-scenes’ figure who had been closely involved in the refurbishment of the Chambers, and had helped ‘to make Tynwald tick over’ and ensure its smooth running. He continued: ‘We owe a debt of thanks to Bob and, indeed, to Jan for their service and on behalf of Tynwald I wish Bob well in his retirement.’
On receiving the illuminated address, created by celebrated local artist Colleen Corlett in recognition of his ‘dedicated service to the Isle of Man Parliament’ Mr Allison said he was ‘surprised and honoured’ that his contributions should have been so generously acknowledged, adding that he was delighted to have been involved in the Chambers’ refurbishment scheme ‘from day one’. In closing he praised the long-standing support of his fellow Manx Radio broadcast engineers and ‘Tynwald’s wonderful working environment’.
Once away from the confines of the commentary box Mr Allison said he was looking forward to taking the Tynwald guided tour, observing the occasional sitting and devoting more time to providing voluntary technical support to the Manx Blind Welfare Society.
The President of Tynwald, the Hon Steve Rodan MLC, and the Speaker of the House of Keys, the Hon Juan Watterson SHK, are pictured with Bob Allison and his wife, Jan holding the illuminated address acknowledging Mr Allison’s service to Tynwald from 2004 to 2016. Photo courtesy of Paul Dougherty, Tynwald Seneschal