Passing of Captain, January 2024

Captain of the Parish of Andreas, Dorothy Sayle, passed away on 27th January 2024.

Dorothy was born on 28th November 1939, the daughter of Robert William Teare and his wife Annie May (nee Leece) of Sandygate House, Jurby. Her father had a haulage business and is believed to have had the first cattle wagon on the Island. He died after a long illness in July 1950 having given up the haulage business and becoming a sub-postmaster running the business from home.

Dorothy was just ten when he died and her mother took over the little post office. Dorothy attended Andreas Primary School and then went on to Ramsey Grammar School as did her brother, Robert, called Bobby.

Dorothy's plans for a career in nursing were dashed by ill health and so she became a confectioner with the Crennell sisters in their Wattleworth's Café at 10, Parliament Street, Ramsey. Attending a concert at Ballaugh Parish Hall she met John Christopher Cormode Sayle, a young farmer of Claddagh Farm, Sulby, who had taken part in one of the acts. In November 1959 he took over the tenancy of Ballawhane Farm in Andreas, previously occupied by his cousins the Cormode family. John and Dorothy were married at Waterloo Methodist Church, Ramsey in April 1960.

John became involved in the Andreas community by becoming a committee member of the Andreas Benevolent Society, a church warden and an Andreas Parish Commissioner. He was also an elected a member of the Board of Education for Ayre.

John died suddenly in 1999 at the age of 61. Instead of retreating into widowhood, Dorothy took on many of John's roles. She was elected as an Andreas Parish Commissioner in May 1999 and served until 2021. She was top of the poll on many occasions when there was an election and she was chairman on five occasions. She became a church warden and in her role as senior warden acted as sequestrator on a number of occasions when the parish was without a vicar. She had been a Sunday School teacher at the Parish Church and was involved in fundraising events for the church. She was involved in the Mothers' Union and was a past chairman of the local branch of the WI. Dorothy was a member of the Andreas Parish Endowments Committee from 1999, serving for 25 years, and she was also an active member of the Grest Home Ladies Committee.

With her husband John she was very much involved in reinvigorating The Andreas Root Show which thrives to this day and she continued to have an involvement on the committee for many years. She also was the moving force in establishing the indoor bowling club in the parish hall. With the Andreas Benevolent Society she was long a 'tray holder' with other ladies of the parish on Ascension Thursday each year until she became an official guest.

In 2003 she was appointed Captain of the Parish of Andreas in succession to Norman Radcliffe by the Lieutenant Governor Air Marshal Ian Macfadyen. Thus she became the fourth lady in history to become a Captain of the Parish. The others being Marion Taggart (Malew 1990), Margaret Quirk (Patrick 1994) and Hazel Lace (Maughold 2004), all of whom were widows and well deserving of the Captain of the Parish honour.

At Dorothy's funeral, held in a packed parish church on 6th February 2024, the celebrant, Peter Shimmin, very appropriately commented "To the people of Andreas she was simply 'Our Dorothy.'"