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​A. L. Ian Cottier TH

Teacher, Broadcaster and Supporter of Charitable Causes

Alexander Lawrence Ian Cottier was born in 1936 on Shore Road in Port St Mary. 
Mr Cottier was one of the first cohort to attend the newly opened Castle Rushen High School, under headmaster and pioneer of comprehensive education Sir Godfrey Cretney. After reading English at Manchester University, Mr Cottier became a teacher at the newly formed Regis Comprehensive School in Wolverhampton, working under his former headmaster Sir Godfrey.  Mr Cottier went on to work at various schools in the UK, working his way up from classroom teacher to headmaster, before returning to the Isle of Man to take up the role of headmaster of Douglas High School in 1976.

Mr Cottier went on to play a central role in the reorganisation of secondary education in Douglas in 1985, the structure of which remains in place today.  He became headmaster of the newly formed St Ninian’s High School in 1985, where he remained until his retirement in 1994. 

Mr Cottier is a strong advocate of the Manx language and culture.  After the 1985 Douglas school reforms, he introduced Manx language lessons for all pupils in years seven and eight, and he also promoted and celebrated the work of Archibald Knox in school.  Mr Cottier has also lent his voice to making audio recordings of Manx stories.

Mr Cottier is perhaps best known for his long-standing involvement in the Island’s brass band scene, particularly as Vice-President of Rushen Silver Band and presenter of Manx Radio’s ‘Time for Brass’.  Mr Cottier has presented more than 2000 editions of the programme, which first aired in September 1980.  This makes him the longest running brass band radio presenter in the world.

Mr Cottier has also found time in retirement for various other pursuits. He has been a volunteer steward for Friends of the Gaiety for over 30 years.  He has been volunteering for the Manx Blind Welfare Society and Care in Mann for a similar amount of time. He will be known to many from his time on the Isle of Man Committee of the Sail Training Association and the Isle of Man Committee of the Jubilee Sailing Trust. 

He also served as a lay member on the Planning Committee, with his last term ending in 2020.

A proud Manxman who has contributed in many and varied ways to the Isle of Man