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Bee Gees become Douglas freemen

8 June 09 10:42 GMT

Members of The Bee Gees are to be made freemen of their home borough of Douglas in the Isle of Man.

The honour will be conferred on Barry and Robin Gibb, and their late brother Maurice, in a ceremony at Douglas Town Hall on 10 July.

Other members of the family, including Maurice's widow and son, are also expected to attend.

The brothers were born on the island before moving to Manchester and later Brisbane in Australia.

Leader of the council David Christian proposed the resolution to give the brothers the honour.

He said it recognised The Bee Gees' achievements in music and the pride they have shown in their place of birth.

"I haven't spoken to Barry but I have spoken to Robin and he's absolutely delighted to have it conferred on them," said Mr Christian.

"[There was] no hesitation in accepting and he is looking forward to the event itself."

The Bee Gees have sold millions of records around the world and their hits include Night Fever, Tragedy and You Win Again.

Mr Christian said the council would try to ensure as many people as possible could see the ceremony.

"I went onto the internet to do some research for my speech that I gave to council when the resolution was passed and if you look at the number of websites there are in relation to the Bee Gees it's absolutely unbelievable," he said.

"We're hoping we might be able to try to do some kind of link up where perhaps people will be able to view the ceremony on the internet."

Barry and Robin Gibb no longer perform as The Bee Gees since the death of Maurice in 2003.

The 53-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest before surgery for an intestinal blockage in Miami, Florida.

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