Once described as a “rock in the middle of the Irish Sea” and famous for the TT Motorcycle Races, the Isle of Man is so much more. It is a well-regulated jurisdiction with a sound infrastructure and stable economy and surprisingly, home to many South Africans.
The island’s connection with South Africa is an historical one, going back to the late 1800s when Manx miners sought their fortunes further afield in the gold and diamond mines of South Africa. Those early settlers did a good job of selling the Isle of Man and today there is a thriving South African community here who support each other and newcomers, looking to settle on the island.
To reinforce those historic bonds, build new relationships and share what the Isle of Man has to offer on both a professional and personal level, The Isle of Man Indaba, will begin its tour of South Africa in Johannesburg on the 15th March.
The Isle of Man has a long tradition in financial services, leading in innovation and regulation across a diverse sector encompassing banking, insurance, fiduciaries, funds and wealth management, pensions, and professional services. The Island is home to a wide range of firms and the sector remains an important contributor to the Island’s economy.
Building relationships internationally is an important priority and over a period of 10 days, a delegation from Finance Isle of Man and key business representatives, will visit Johannesburg, Durban and the Cape, to promote and develop the Isle of Man’s significant financial and professional services industry and reinforce its recognition as an international financial centre of excellence.
The Isle of Man is a beautiful and safe place to live and is the only country in the world that holds Unesco Biosphere status. It is an ancient land of myths and legends, where forgetting to wave a greeting to the faeries as you cross The Fairy Bridge, may cost you dearly and on the hillsides you will see the multi-horned Loaghtan sheep, the Vikings left behind.
The pace here is gentle and whatever your interests, you will find your niche. For a small island, we have raised some outstanding sports personalities and the youth are supported to achieve their full potential. The schools are good and conveniently situated all around the island, so wherever you choose to live, your children will have a school nearby.
The island is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and with any number of activities to choose from, you are spoilt for choice and all in outstanding surroundings. One of my favourite memories is kayaking off Niarbyl on a summer’s evening.
The weather may not be a drawcard, but over the 20 years we’ve been here, it certainly seems milder. Maybe I’m finally acclimatising or perhaps just wearing more appropriate clothing. What I have learnt is not to rely on an umbrella on a windy day!
As I write, spring is evident as clumps of daffodils brighten the landscape and the wild garlic begins to appear on the roadside verges. By Easter the bluebells will be in full bloom, turning the woodlands purple, making them just perfect for an Easter Egg hunt.
We love the slower pace of life here, but if it’s noise and excitement you’re after, there is always the TT to look forward to.
Isle of Man Chapter