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Meeting some Hampshire recipients on the Queen’s New Year Honours List

PUBLISHED: 12:09 26 June 2017 | UPDATED: 12:09 26 June 2017

Ian Ward

Ian Ward


The 2017 Queen’s New Year Honours List saw men and women across Hampshire recognised for their outstanding contributions, from charitable fundraising to services to science and to sport. Viv Micklefield celebrates with some the recipients

Dr Dave Watson - Director, IBM Research UK

• CBE for services to science and engineering research

Leading IBM Hursley’s pioneering work in precision farming, anti-microbial surfaces and genomics, is just part of Dr Watson’s commitment to applying emerging computer technologies. Additionally, the Romsey resident has played a key part in the £1bn annual funding of scientific and engineering research within our universities. Dr Watson said: “I am immensely proud to have been given this honour. My work over the past 12 years with the Engineering and Physical Research Council has been enriching and enjoyable in both a personal and business capacity. It is very interesting to be involved in how the UK handles the next generation of technological change.”

Alison Beane - Chief executive headteacher Mary Rose Academy, Cliffdale Primary Academy and Redwood Park Primary Academy; director Solent Academies

• OBE for services to education

In a career spanning over 30 years, these days travelling to work by hovercraft from her home in Freshwater is one of the perks of the job for Alison Beane, who took up her current role in 2005. On hearing the Honours List announcement, Alison admits to feeling a range of emotions: “Genuine surprise and incredulity, delight and wonder, and, in some ways, a feeling of guilt when I know there are so many other people out there who are also really committed to transforming the lives of pupils with special educational needs. Above all the knowledge that the people I have worked with and encountered over the years thought enough of the contribution I have been making, to make the application for an award.” 

Bruce Parker - Chairman, The Friends of Winchester Cathedral

• MBE for services to charity and the community of Hampshire

Providing financial support to choristers and stonemasons, and raising £800,000 towards the conservation of medieval stained glass, are projects that ex-BBC South Today presenter Bruce Parker and the Cathedral’s Friends are justifiably proud of. The charity also holds a colourful outdoor Mechanical Organ Festival and an Annual Lecture which, in the past, has attracted the likes of Joanna Lumley and Bill Bryson. Bruce, who lives in Andover, admits: “I’m chuffed to bits to have been honoured with an MBE but, of course, I accept it with pride on behalf of all the lovely people I’ve worked with in the charities I support. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to work with Winchester Cathedral – a building I have been in awe of since I was a small boy.” 

John Champion - Chairman, The Odiham Society

• BEM for services to the 800th anniversary commemoration of the Magna Carta

Odiham’s importance to Parliamentary democracy and liberty was marked in an extraordinary show of community togetherness in 2015, thanks to John Champion and The Odiham Society team. With highlights including a special Magna Carta Anthem and embroidery, a concert and a three-day festival with medieval banquet, John, from Hook, helped put the village on the map as part of the national commemoration.

“The 800th anniversary of Magna Carta provided a unique opportunity to bring history alive,” he says, adding: “Involving the whole community shared awareness and ownership of our heritage.” Paying tribute to the volunteers who supported him in the celebrations, John says: “The award of a BEM was a surprise out of the blue.” 

Isobel Gatward - President, Mayflower Theatre Trust

• BEM for services to the arts

Being from a family of actors and writers, the theatre is in Isobel Gatward’s genes. After first treading the boards during the 1960s, alongside the inimitable Morecambe and Wise, she became a keen supporter of theatre-in-education as a governor at the former Southampton Institute. An active campaigner to Save the Mayflower, she served 27 years as chairman of the theatre’s board.

Now living in Lymington, Isobel says: “I am delighted to receive this award and feel I am accepting it on behalf of Mayflower Theatre. I have been very proud of how the theatre has grown and developed over the last 30 years and I am honoured that my role in its development has been acknowledged”. 

Ian Ward - Founder, Isle of Wight Community Bus Partnership

• BEM for services to community transport

A former mayor of Sandown, Councillor Ward is a driving force behind the island’s community bus service which took to the road in 2011. “We decided to start the Isle of Wight Community Bus Partnership with local bus company Southern Vectus,” he says of the six routes which now carry almost 70,000 passengers each year. With volunteers behind the wheel, among these is the born and bred islander, who says. “This award is a great honour for me, but I feel it has been earned by all of my volunteer driver colleagues who work with me providing a bus life line to residents who would otherwise be isolated.”

Georgina Hermitage, Paralympian athlete

• MBE for services to athletics

Born with cerebral palsy, which mainly affects her body’s left side, Alton’s Georgina was inspired to go for gold after watching the 2012 London Paralympics. Her dreams came true after topping the podium at last year’s Rio Games: she won the individual T37 100m race, and collected a silver medal in the T35-38 classification 4x100m relay. The 28-year-old says: “It was an absolute honour and a huge surprise to receive an MBE – it topped off a memorable year for me. After years and years of struggling to accept my disability, I now embrace it. To receive this recognition as a result of my athletics is amazing and makes all that hard work worth it.”

Robert Robson - Chief executive, Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity

• OBE for services to naval personnel

After a successful banking career, Robert describes as an “enormous privilege” being at the helm of the Navy’s charity, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary. Having served as a Royal Navy officer over 30 years ago, he says: “Our work in support of those who serve today or who wore the uniform many years ago is important, immensely fulfilling and ever more necessary as our position as an island nation returns to the forefront of the nation’s mind,” He adds: “I am deeply honoured to be recognised with the award of an OBE, which in truth reflects the teamwork, inspiration and dedication of all who work in, or are associated with, the charity.”

More Hampshire gongs

• CBE: Michael Pragnell, for services to cancer; Anne Richardson Sharpe, services to workplace relations; Paul Rowsell, services to local government.

• OBE: Chris Coleman, services to football.

• MBE: Judith Deighton, services to children; Glyn Ellis, services to maritime safety and the Isle of Wight; Stephen Frampton, services to education; Sidney Hawkins, services to aviation safety; Tessa Morrish, services to people with cystic fibrosis; Hilary Philbin, services to fencing and sports administration; Justin Rose services to golf; Ian Walker, services to Olympic and competitive sailing; Kevin Shaw, services to the Royal Navy.

• BEM: Gillian Burnett, services to the Isle of Wight; Maureen Duke, services to the craft of bookbinding; Hamish Elvidge, services to suicide prevention and bereavement support; Elaine Husband, services to charitable fundraising and the community in Brockenhurst; John Hutchins, services to the community in New Milton; Elizabeth Ramsay, services to the community in Portsmouth; Teena Munden, services to corporate fundraising and charity in Southampton.

What’s in a title?

• Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE): Awarded for a role at national level, or leading role at regional level. Also recognises innovative contribution.

• Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE): For a major local role, including work that’s become known nationally.

• Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE): For outstanding achievement or service to the community which is an example to others.

• British Empire Medal (BEM): For ‘hands-on’ service to the local community. 

To nominate a local hero see The Queen’s Birthday Honours will be announced to coincide with her official birthday this month.


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