The honours, officially announced over the Platinum Jubilee weekend, marks the public service of individuals across the UK in celebration of Her Majesty’s 70 years of service.
Bradford Rotarian, Manoj Joshi, has been awarded an MBE for his services to the community in the West Yorkshire city, particularly during the pandemic.
Dr Joshi, who is a Ugandan of Gujarati heritage, arrived in England in 1972 as a 21-year-old refugee during the infamous Idi-Amin crisis in his home country.
Determined to re-establish the legacy of his pioneering and philanthropist grandfather, Liladhar Meghji, Dr Joshi combined a successful career in pharmaceuticals and created opportunities to provide professional and value-creating services in Bradford.
Dr Joshi, who is also a former Rotary district governor for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire for Rotary International, has been instrumental in raising money and awareness for the eradication of Polio through End Polio Now.
In 2020, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire made international headlines for shaving off his then 52-year-old moustache for the cause, raising thousands of pounds.
Dr Joshi, said: “To receive the recognition in the Queen’s Jubilee this year, after Bradford winning the City of Culture 2025 bid, whilst also commemorating 50 years of Ugandan Asians arriving as refugees in Great Britain, is just phenomenal.
“I am overwhelmed with the honour for the pursuit of excellence and ‘service above self,’ in my lifetime. This kind of recognition fuels me with momentum to continue the important work of unlocking the wells of potential for the people of Bradford District.
“As a Sevak – of Hindu-Brahmin-Gujarati origin – it is my duty to spread joy and happiness serving humanity. I shall continue this important value-creating work with great honour.”
Toni Roberts from Jersey Overseas Aid has been appointed MBE for her work with the charity and Jersey Rotary Club.
She said: “I think it’s absolutely fantastic, something I wasn’t expecting to happen because I’ve always enjoyed the charitable work that I’ve done but it’s just so wonderful being recognised and everybody’s being so nice and kind.
“I’m going to continue to do charitable work and support people where I can… It’s just wonderful to be acknowledged.”
In Norfolk, Michael Downes, from Aylsham Rotary, has been honoured with a British Empire Medal. Michael is also Vice-Chairman of the Aylsham Learning Foundation.
During the pandemic, Michael co-ordinated an appeal to collect laptops and tablets for children in the county.
He said at the time of the appeal: “I realised that there was an issue with children not having access so we decided we would put out an appeal to see if we could get some together and we put a bit of money in to it as well.
“We thought we might be able to get about 20 computers to meet some of the demand, but in two weeks we’ve gathered 160-plus.
“We also made a donation page so if people could give money if they didn’t have computers and we’ve now made £2,500.
“We’re concentrating on the schools in Aylsham but we’ve met most of the need, so we’re going to start in the surrounding areas as well.”
I am overwhelmed with the honour for the pursuit of excellence and ‘service above self,’ in my lifetime.”
Karen Tonge, who is chairwoman of British Para Table Tennis, has been awarded an OBE.
Karen, who is a member of Runcorn Rotary Club, received an MBE in 2009 for promoting the sport at grassroots level, as well as volunteering and promoting healthy lifestyles.
A member of the British Paralympic Association National Council since 2014, Karen attended the Rio Paralympics in support of the Para table tennis team but due to Covid-19 restrictions had to support from home for the Tokyo Paralympics.
An international umpire and referee she has officiated at para events in the UK and overseas and has been appointed referee for the table tennis and para table tennis events at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Karen is a Paul Harris Fellow and was Runcorn Rotary Club President in 2016.
She said: “I am delighted to accept the honour. This reflects everything the organisation has achieved over many years in transforming people’s lives and is recognition for the para table tennis world.
“I was amazed to receive the letter as I thought it was requesting a supporting letter for someone else and I never dreamt that this would happen to me again.
“The Paralympic movement has developed over recent years with table tennis having 11 classifications for men and women with wheelchair and standing athletes.”
The honours system strives to be inclusive of all of the UK society. Of the 1,134 people who receive an award:
- 1,002 candidates have been selected at BEM, MBE and OBE level:
- 304 at BEM
- 452 at MBE
- 246 at OBE
- 673 (59.3%) of the recipients are people who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity;
- 584 women are recognised in the List, representing 51.5% of the total (44.8%of recipients at CBE level and above are women);
- 3% of the successful candidates come from an ethnic minority background:
- 8% of recipients are from an Asian ethnic group;
- 3% of recipients are from a black ethnic group;
- 8% of recipients with a mixed ethnic background;
- 4% of recipients come from another ethnic background;
- 3% of the successful candidates are disabled or have a long-term health condition;
- 3% of recipients considered themselves to come from a lower socio-economic background; and
- 6% of recipients are LGBT.