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About the Island
To Preserve "Whate'er is left to us of ancient heritage." T.E. Brown
Robert Kelly December 10, 1925 - November 15, 2012
Former NAMA President Robert “Bob” Kelly, 86, of Rockford passed away Thursday, November 15, 2012 at Wesley Willows. He was born December 10, 1925 in Evanston, IL. The son of Robert Cecil and Emily (Knight) Kelly. Graduated from Chicago Christian High School and the Illinois Institute of Technology. He married Jean Elizabeth Pilgrim at Englewood Methodist Church in Chicago on September 12, 1953. Jean predeceased him on May 2, 2004.
He was a proud descendant of the Isle of Man and served as President in 1972-74 and later Honorary President of the North American Manx Association, President of the Chicago Area Manx Society, and member of the Wisconsin Manx Society. Bob was instrumental in the creation of the North American Manx Museum in Platteville Wisconsin.
These are some recollections of his activities with NAMA
"1979 was the Millenium of Tynwald (1000 years) and the NAMA had a homecoming so we could attend the festivities. This was when Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip attended Tynwald and conducted the Ceremony. I was able to attend the garden party that IOM Government gave in Peel when Queen Elizabeth dedicated the new school in Peel. Jean and I were invited to attend by Sir Charles Kerruish and we had the opportunity to meet and speak with both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at the school reception. The Lt Govenor also held a garden party at the Lt Govenors home for the Queen and Prince Philip. I have the official photo of the 1979 Millenium Tynwald Ceremony that was on the cover of Manx Life magazine and I am shown standing about 30 feet from Queen Elizabeth taking photographs of the events with other photographers."
"In 2000 Prince Charles conducted the Tynwald Ceremony. This was not the Millenium. I have the picture of me talking to Prince Charles and shaking his hand at the garden party that the IOM government gave Prince Charles at the Villa Marina the afternoon of July 3rd. Noel Cringle made arrangements for me to meet and shake hands with Prince Charles."
For 18 years he worked at C&EI Railroad as a Systems Programmer and Analyst, then for 22 years at Bodine Electric Company where he was Manager of the Payroll Department. Bob came to Rockford in 1999 moving here from Chicago, IL. Bob loved his country and enlisted at the age of 17 in the Army. He served in the 100th Infantry Division in the European Theatre in WWII, earning a Purple Heart and other awards. He was a member of American Legion, Wm Marks Post #904. In addition he was Past President of the Financial Management Association of Illinois, Past President of the Winnebago and Boone Counties Genealogical Society, and a Board Member of BIGWILL. Bob was a member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church and formerly of Edison Park UMC, a Lay Member of the Northern Illinois Annual UMC Conference, and United Methodist Men earning the John Wesley Fellows Award.
About the North American Manx Association
The North American Manx Association (NAMA) is a non- profit, ethnic and cultural heritage institution founded in 1928, as a successor organization to Mona's Relief Society of Cleveland, Ohio. NAMA is a group of Americans and Canadians dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of the Manx culture. Most of NAMA's 850 active members are second and third-generation North American. In the U.S., there are chapters in Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; Rocky Mountain; Galva, Illinois; the Greater Washington, D.C. area; Minnesota; Nebraska; Northern California; San Diego, California; and Wisconsin.
In Canada, you will find Manx groups in Ontario; and in Vancouver, British Columbia. NAMA is interested in helping Manx in all areas get in touch with local chapters or assisting those who want to start new chapters.
NAMA publishes the quarterly NAMA Bulletin, sent to each of its enrolled members.
For Manx genealogy, there is the Isle of Man Family History Society (IOMFHS). Since they are not a part of NAMA, you should join both organizations.