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Rotary News

Rotary recognised in the New Year Honours List

Rotary recognised in the New Year Honours List

The New Year Honours List for 2021 have been published, marking the achievements of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom – among them, Rotarians.

In Suffolk, Bury St Edmunds Rotarian, Max Milburn has received an MBE for services to fund-raising. In particular, he was recognised for this support towards the St Nicholas Hospice.

Speaking to Suffolk News, 82-year-old Max said he was ‘completely surprised’ by the honour.

The former architect was a founder of The Hindsight Investment Club in the early 1970s, which was a support group for muscular dystrophy.

Speaking to Suffolk News, 82-year-old Max said he was ‘completely surprised’ by the honour.”

He was also responsible for establishing the Suffolk Housing Society and the Carr Comm Society – later St Matthews, which provides hostels for the vulnerable and disadvantaged.

“That really was meaningful, because otherwise fund-raising is just about running events which people like the sound of, support you and the money comes in,” said Max.

“But with Carr Gomm it was about putting some real effort in and I was actually supervising it all myself.

“It was a real eye-opener because people fall into poverty for extraordinary reasons. Sometimes for health and sometimes for jolly bad luck.”

Max was also involved with fund-raising for the St Edmunds Nursing Home, now the BMI Hospital, and then chaired a fund-raising group to set up a children’s hospice in Bury St Edmunds, raising more than £1million for the St Nicholas Hospice.

As a member of Bury St Edmunds Rotary Club, he was among the first westerners to visit Czechoslovakia after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Max was also involved with fund-raising for the St Edmunds Nursing Home, now the BMI Hospital, and then chaired a fund-raising group to set up a children’s hospice in Bury St Edmunds, raising more than £1million for the St Nicholas Hospice.”

Max was instrumental in forming a support group for disbanded Rotarians in Podebrady, which had been outlawed under German occupation during the Second World War.

On his various good deeds, he said: “I’m probably a bit of a meddler really – I just like to be involved in creating things.”


Also in Suffolk, Christine Shand has been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the community in Newmarket.

Christine, 54, is a member of Newmarket Rotary, who has recently taken over as compere of the club’s popular annual carol concert at Tattersalls. During lockdown Christine has been hymn singing online for the combined Newmarket parishes.

At the height of the COVID-19 lockdown last September, Christine put together parcels full of treats for staff at Newmarket Community Hospital.

It’s a weird feeling really because with everything everyone has gone through this year I was asking myself did I have the right to be excited.”

She has been the organist at St Martin’s Church in Exning since she was 16. Through her love of music, Christine has organised countless concerts which have raised thousands of pounds for charity.

Christine told Suffolk News: “It’s a weird feeling really because with everything everyone has gone through this year I was asking myself did I have the right to be excited.

“But I feel very honoured to have been recognised in this way.”


Also receiving a British Empire Medal is Lancastrian Richard Dugdale, who has been a member of Ribblesdale Rotary for 32 years.

The 75-year-old, who has nine grandchildren, has been tirelessly fund-raising for decades. Most recently, he has been driving Santa’s sleigh around Clitheroe which has raised more than £2,500 for charity.

Richard has also been collecting shoe box parcels for victims of domestic violence, and this week he has been marshalling people receiving Covid vaccinations at his local GP practice.

New Years Honours List

Rotary member Richard Dugdale

He told the Lancashire Post: “I am overwhelmed and greatly honoured. I must have some very good friends who have nominated me for this. I’m very pleased.”

Richard credits his involvement with the Rotary club for “changing his life”, having carried out much of his charitable work with fellow Rotarians.

The 75-year-old, who has nine grandchildren, has been tirelessly fund-raising for decades.”

He added: “I just like helping people, I enjoy it. I just like to see people with smiley faces and the work that the Life Education Trust is so important to do.”

Richard has been involved with the Life Education Trust since 1998. The charity provides health-focused education in schools from reception to year six on a range of topics including cleanliness, nutrition, drugs and alcohol, and bullying.

I just like helping people, I enjoy it. I just like to see people with smiley faces and the work that the Life Education Trust is so important to do.”

He has also raised funds through the Clitheroe Bonfire, as chair of its committee for 10 years and volunteered for Rotary’s End Polio Now vaccination effort in India.

Richard is also a volunteer driver for the MS Society, and has been involved with the Clitheroe Local Organisations Committee, which last year supplied all residents aged over 80 in the local area with Christmas food parcels.


Neil Jones from Warwickshire has been awarded his British Empire Medal for services to the community in Sheepy Magna and Atherstone,

The 76-year-old former teacher has been a member of Atherstone Rotary since 1984 and a church warden at Sheepy Magna All Saints Church since the 2000s.

Neil has been central to the village’s 12-year plan to re-energise the village church. His hard work raised £330,000 and plans were approved to enable the church to re-open in 2018.

He also devised and organised the creation of a full colour book of photographs, facts, stories and memories that documented the local history of each village to celebrate the Millennium in 2000.

Neil has been central to the village’s 12-year plan to re-energise the village church. His hard work raised £330,000 and plans were approved to enable the church to re-open in 2018.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “In a year when so many have made sacrifices to protect our NHS and save people’s lives, the outstanding efforts of those receiving honours are a welcome reminder of the strength of human spirit, and of what can be achieved through courage and compassion.

“The 2021 New Year Honours offer us an opportunity to salute their dedication and recognise many who have gone above and beyond in their contribution to our country.

“As we begin a new year and continue to come together to fight this virus, may their service and stories be an inspiration to us all.”


Colchester Rotarian, Matthew Swan, is a recipient of a British Empire Medal for the two decades he has spent supporting charities in Essex.

In particular, he is the treasurer of the national charity Attend, which works towards promoting healthy communities, and organisation he has belonged since 2002.

The 2021 New Year Honours offer us an opportunity to salute their dedication and recognise many who have gone above and beyond in their contribution to our country.”

More recently, Matthew, 52, who is also vice-chairman and treasurer of the Mercury Theatre in Colchester, was appointed chairman of the multiple sclerosis charity MS-UK.

He told the East Anglian Daily Times: “I think I started getting involved with things around my mid-thirties just to give something back –  that’s the main thing.

“It’s quite strange to be recognised. It’s very humbling but a huge surprise.

“I’m sure thousands of people could and probably should be recognised in a year like this.”


Broadstairs Rotarian Alan Emby received an Order of the British Empire for his services to the Kent town.

New Years Honours List

Rotary member Alan Emby

Alan is also vice chairman of governors at Upton School and has been involved with St Lawrence College, the Broadstairs and St Peter’s Community Centre Trust and The Arts Society Thanet.


David Jackson, from Middlesbrough, have been given a British Empire Medal for services to the community.

The former local government officer lives in Marton, with his wife Dorothy, and has been president of the Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary.

They have been involved in raising money for food parcels for families in need at Christmas and other local worthy causes.

David Jackson, from Middlesbrough, have been given a British Empire Medal for services to the community.”

In Jersey, a new set of awards, the Bailiff’s Covid-19 Awards, have been established to mark the contribution of individuals and organisations for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

They range from those running testing facilities or delivering PPE across Jersey, to the man providing free ice cream to weary hospital staff.


A total of 110 submissions were received by the Bailiff’s Chambers when the new awards were first announced, among them Angie Falle from Jersey Rotary, for exceptional enthusiasm and compassion towards elderly people.


Meanwhile, two members of one of Rotary Great Britain & Ireland’s disaster response charities, MapAction, have been honoured in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for services to international development and humanitarian crisis operations.

Long-serving volunteer Alan Mills has received an MBE while the charity’s Chief Executive Liz Hughes has been awarded an OBE.

Alan Mills has been a MapAction volunteer since 2005, applying his knowledge of geospatial systems to help get aid as quickly as possible to people caught up in humanitarian emergencies.

Map Actions Chief Executive Liz Hughes

Liz Hughes joined MapAction as Chief Executive in 2013, after directing humanitarian operations at the Red Cross, Save the Children and Oxfam.

“This is really wonderful recognition for the whole charity at the end of what has been an exceptionally busy and challenging year for MapAction,” said Liz.

“There are many people in our team – most of whom are volunteers – who do really incredible work which is often behind the scenes and not necessarily known about or widely understood.

MapAction volunteer, Alan Mills

“Alan’s contribution over the years has been enormous and I’m so pleased that this will shine a light on that.”

MapAction volunteers are highly skilled GIS, data and information management professionals who train regularly to ensure they are always ready to travel anywhere in the world at very short notice in the event of humanitarian emergencies such as earthquakes, hurricanes, epidemics and conflict.

Their work is supported by a number of Rotary clubs around the UK.

“I was completely surprised and utterly delighted to be awarded this honour,” said Alan.

“Everyone at MapAction is really committed to humanitarianism – that’s why we volunteer.

“Knowing that you’re saving and improving lives is reward in itself. But to be publicly recognised in this way is the icing on the cake.”