On New Year’s Day this year I had a telephone call from my friend Ron to give me the exciting news that he had been awarded the MBE.

 I was so pleased that he has received recognition for the many years he has given to serving his community. He has been a serving member of the St John Ambulance, local historian and taught living history to school children by recounting his early childhood and growing up in the war years amongst other things. It was pleasing too, to hear of someone, who goes around quietly helping others with no thought of reward, being honoured in this way. No bonuses, no “celebrity awards”  just the satisfaction of knowing that he has helped someone. This is  what I feel these honours should be for, not for doing a  job for which they they are already amply repaid and given obscene bonuses.  

I was very touched when Ron said that he wished my Dad was still alive for him to tell, because he knows that he would have been so proud that one of “his boys” had done so well.

Ron first got in touch with me about four years ago when he saw my maiden name in another context and he rang me to ask if I was Jack’s daughter. He first met Dad when he started work at the colliery and Dad became his mentor. “He was strict,” he said, “But very fair and he let us know in no uncertain terms that he would stand no nonsense!”

He introduced them to the St John Ambulance and most of them have stayed members all their lives.

Ron said that Dad had been an influence on many young lives and they still talk about him even though he died nearly 30 years ago!

My Dad said that while someone remembers you, you never die, but I think he would be very surprised to know that so many remember him with such affection. He would have been delighted with Ron’s award but would doubtless have teased him mercilessly. 🙂