The official portrait of former Chief Minister Tony Brown as Speaker is now on display in the House of Keys Chamber.
Accompanied by his family and friends Mr Brown was joined by members of the House of Keys and the Legislative Council for a brief ceremony at the Legislative Buildings on Tuesday April 24th when the portrait was put on display for the first time by the artist Svetlana Cameron.
In his welcome address Speaker of the House of Keys Steve Rodan SHK praised Mrs Cameron for ‘capturing the essence’ of Mr Brown as Speaker and said the portrait did the sitter ‘tremendous justice’. He went on to thank Mr Brown for the wisdom and wise counsel he had brought to the role of Speaker. It was a role, said Mr Speaker, that Mr Brown, with his commanding knowledge of Standing Orders, had enjoyed fulfilling with considerable relish.
In his reply Mr Brown said Mrs Cameron had created a portrait of which he was enormously proud. He went on to say it had been a privilege to have served as Speaker of the House of Keys and that he had been especially honoured to have had the opportunity to carry out his Speaker’s role on the annual occasion of the Tynwald Day ceremony.
For Mrs Cameron the portrait is her second to have been commissioned by the Office of the Clerk of Tynwald and joins that of former MHK David Cannan as Speaker, completed in 2011.
Mrs Cameron said the portrait had been very much a collaboration between artist and sitter, Mr Brown having approached the project ‘with an open mind’ , allowing her the creative freedom with which to interpret his brief. She explained that Mr Brown had chosen to be portrayed against a plain background, into which she had introduced volumes of Acts of Tynwald from years that were of particular significance to the sitter: 1981 when Mr Brown entered the Keys; 2001 when he was elected Speaker of the House of Keys and 2011 when he retired as Chief Minister.
Mrs Cameron said the two commissions were major highlights in her artistic career and that it had been ‘an honour and a privilege’ to have had her work recognised by the parliament of the Isle of Man.
In bringing the ceremony to a close Speaker Steve Rodan thanked Mrs Cameron and Mr Brown, saying they had contributed to creating ‘a piece of history’ for the Isle of Man.
The portrait of Mr Brown becomes the 12th to join the House of Keys’ gallery of former Speakers.