Hon­ours that mean so much to ‘real’ peo­ple

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your Views - >Mark Ed­wards >@PT Mark Ed­wards

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.

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