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Leslie Quirk

Epithet: Manx language student (1914-2004)

Record type: Biographies

Biography: He was one of the band of ‘Musketeers’ who had a passion for learning the Manx language from the last native speakers. His mother’s step-mother first started him off with Manx before he could even walk. “My Mother took double pneumonia and only just scraped through it and I was farmed out to my step-grandmother”. (Leslie Quirk)

Leslie attended the Manx classes at the Harbour Master’s Office in Peel. When he started the classes he had the feeling that he had heard some of the rhymes and phrases before. Searching back into his childhood he recalled that it was his step-grandmother who would make him recite The Lord’s Prayer in Manx at bedtime one line at a time with her on one side of the bed and him on the other.

He remembered the Peel classes attracting students from all over the Island including Jack Gell, Charles Craine, Madge Watterson and Mark Braide.

Leslie was employed by the Manx Museum in the 1950s as the first full-time collector for the Manx Folk Life Survey. He was sent to Ireland by the Director of the Manx Museum, Basil Megaw, to meet up with the Irish Folklore Commission’s Kevin Danaher to learn the skills of collecting in the field.

Gender: Male

Date of death: 20.10.2004

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