The Mayor and Mayoress were pleased to invite Tynwald military liaison officer Commodore Chris Bland RN and his wife Frances, together with Mrs Bland's parents Jenny and Tony Mellor to the town hall a few days after this year's Tynwald Day proceedings and celebrations at St John's.
Commodore Bland, who was appointed to the voluntary role at the end of 2014 by the Office of the Clerk of Tynwald, is responsible for planning, communicating and coordinating arrangements with members of the armed forces serving at the Tynwald Day ceremony at St John's.
An officer of the Royal Navy submarine service since 1999, Commodore Bland has lived in the Isle of Man since 2004. That year, when Councillor Ritchie McNicholl was Mayor Select, the then Mayor, Councillor June Craine, hosted a reception and dinner at the town hall for officers of HMS Vigilant when the ship, on which Commodore Bland served, was visiting the island. The ship enjoys a civic affiliation with the Borough of Douglas and with Noble's Hospital's children's ward where Her Worship and the future Mrs Bland then worked. Her Worship explained: 'Frances and I attended the dinner as representatives of the children's ward and Chris and Frances struck up a friendship. They've now been married for 10 and a half years and have two girls Amelia, nine and Charlotte, three. Frances and I have now been friends for over 19 years and I am godmother to Amelia.'