Honours that mean so much to ‘real’ people
Perennially, but this year, more than recently, the New Year Honours system has come in for a great deal of criticism. There are gongs for some rich and famous recipients that some people - and some national papaers - believe devalue the whole idea. But that debate aside we should not lose sight of just how much these honours mean to ‘real’ people. Peterborough restaurant owner Mohammed Farooq, who runs the Maharanis restaurant in Hampton, has been given the British Empire Medal for helping others. Brian Gas coy ne, chairman of the The Mill field and New England Regeneration Partnership( MA NE RP) and the Holocaust Memorial Day Committee has been given the same honour for similarly self less acts in support of his local community over many years. For People like Mr Farooq and Mr Gas co y ne these honours mean a great deal. It is recognition for their years of work, all unpaid, and the fact that it comes from the Monarch and will be awarded with due pomp and circumstance in London will make it all the more special. It will bean occasion their loved ones can savour and the medal itself will become a treasured family heirloom for their families in generations to come. Mohammed Farooq, Brian Gas coy ne, and many like them deserve thanks and credit for what they have done and the Honours system is a fitting way to do that. It is entirely reasonable to feel unhappy about an O BE awarded to Victoria Beckham ... others may feel it is as de served as some other awards. But that debate should not in anyway dim the reflected glory the system brings to those who unquestionably deserve it.