Mona Douglas MBE
Poet, Folklorist, and Collector
Writer and poet, collector of Manx songs, dances and folklore. Founder of the inter-Celtic festival Yn Chruinnaght.
Mona Douglas had a life-long interest in the preservation of Manx culture, and became involved in the collection and preservation of traditional dances from an early age. Her interest in traditional culture also included music and folklore in general. She published her first book of verse, Manx-song and Maiden-song, when she was only seventeen.
Her earliest honour was received in 1917, when she was made a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards in Wales. Later in life she would receive the Mannanan Trophy (1972), be appointed International President of the Pan-Celtic Festival (1980), receive an MBE for her services to Manx culture (1982), and become the first patron of the Manx Heritage Foundation (1986).
Mona Douglas worked as Rural Librarian in Douglas for thirty years and after that as a newspaper journalist. She edited the magazine Mannin, and produced two novels as well as other books, plays and numerous poems. She was involved with all the Island’s main organisations dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Manx language and culture, including the Manx Folk Dance Society.
Her greatest achievement was the revival in 1977 of the Chruinnaght Ashoonagh (National Gathering) which had flourished in the early part of the twentieth century. Yn Chruinnaght is now the central event on the Manx cultural scene, and her principle memorial.
A poetess and dreamer