A memorial bench to the first Manxman to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games is to be installed in Laxey. The bench has been funded by the Fellowship of the Manx Veteran Cyclists and will be installed in the Mines Road area in the coming weeks.
Garff Commissioners are extremely honoured by the request from the family that the bench be installed in Laxey, as Stuart contributed to Manx life in sport, music and many, many other ways.
Stuart won a Bronze medal in the Cycling Road Race at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, but also penned the song “The Laxey Wheel” and in future, those who pause for a few moments at the bench will be able to think on Stuart’s achievements and glance up to check that that wheel is still, “turning, turning, turning”, as he predicted it would; a fitting confirmation for us all that life goes on.
The report on his Commonwealth Games performance suggests that Stuart had the gritty, feisty Manx spirit when it came to racing and competition…
“…his amazing finishing spurt after a gruelling race run in terrible weather, heavy rain and a high wind, had his team mates and officials in a frenzy of excitement as he burst through to achieve what seemed the impossible.”
Isle of Man Weekly Times, 28 July 1958
“Stuart Slack was a local boy, a local hero, his victory did so much to encourage cycling over here. Within a few years of his victory the Onchan Stadium opened with a cycle track around the outside and cycling on the Isle of Man has gone from strength to strength ever since.”
Brian Whitehead, Commonwealth Games Athlete.