9:38am Saturday 29th December 2012
ONE of Worcester’s best known personalities, farmer, businessman and benefactor John Bennett, of Lower Wick, has been made an MBE for services to the community.
Mr Bennett joins a host of famous faces both nationally and locally to be named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List, which this year included a special honours list for the sporting stars of London 2012.
Through his Bennetts Dairies company Mr Bennett became a household name in the city and was one of the youngest ever presidents of the National Dairymen’s Association.
The 81-year-old has also been a leading magistrate and rotarian.
“I am very honoured to be mentioned in the New Year’s Honours,” he said.
“But I am very aware that there are a lot of people who do things and never get recognised.”
Mr Bennett was brought up on the family’s Manor Farm at Lower Wick.
Following his father’s death in 1962, he became managing director of Bennetts Farms and Dairies. Throughout the 60s he built up the dairy business, which at its height produced 56,000 pints of milk a day and had a workforce of 125.
In 1972 he donated land to Worcester to enable the Citizens Swimming Pool to be built and he was also instrumental in the creation of a track for Worcester Athletic Club on riverside land he rented.
He is a founder member of Worcester South Rotary Club and has also been county chairman of Worcestershire NFU, served on the council of the Three Counties Show for many years and been a member of the former national Milk Marketing Board.
Heading the honours list locally was Brian McCloskey, 60, of Ombersley, near Worcester, who was awarded the CBE for services to public health and safety after playing a key role in overseeing operations at the London Olympics.
Dr McCloskey, formerly Worcestershire’s director of public health, is now the London director of the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and headed up the organisation’s preparations for the 2012 games.
He said: “This honour is a great end to a great year.”
Dr McCloskey has also worked with the World Health Organisation and in April is taking up a new role as director of global health at Public Health England.
When the envelope dropped through the door of his home in Bath Road,
Worcester, Trevor Tipple thought it was a tax demand.
Considerable surprise then to open it to discover he was to be made an MBE in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List.
“It was a total shock,” he said. “I had no idea whatsoever. I never thought these awards went to people like me.”
Mr Tipple, an expert in organ re-building and restoration, was given the award for services to church music.
His company in Shrub Hill, Worcester, looks after the welfare of more than 300 organs across the UK.
Mr Tipple has been organist and choirmaster at St Martin’s Church in London, Road, Worcester, since 1966 and rebuilt the organ there in 2000.
He is one of only three organists at St Martin’s in more than a century and has also been closely involved with the nearby college for blind and partially sighted students for many years.
St Richard’s fund-raiser Rosalie Dawes received her MBE for services to charity and the community.
The 70-year-old served on the fund-raising committee that played a huge role in helping to raise the £5.25 capital fund required to build the 15-bed hospice, which opened in Wildwood Drive, Worcester, in 2006.
Much of the fund-raising she has done has come through events held in the scenic gardens at her home, Birtsmorton Court, near Malvern.
As well as St Richard’s Hospice she has held countless fundraisers for causes including Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support, while she has been involved in the National Garden Scheme for almost 40 years, raising more than £10,000 for good causes through that alone.
Mrs Dawes said: “I am very lucky to have been singled out for special attention because I am just one of the very many people out there who do so much for the community and for charity.”
Martin Burton, aged 71, also from Malvern, received an MBE for services to the charity sector.
A former superintendent in the West Midlands Police, for the last 20 years
he has been chairman of the Birmingham Lord Mayor’s charity.
He also started the annual Megaquiz in Birmingham, and served as vicepresident of Cancer Research based at Birmingham University, raising £5 million for the Crab Appeal.
He is a past president of Malvern Rotary and was chairman of the committee organising the Jubilee celebrations in the town last summer.
Evesham’s Olympic rower Alex Gregory received an MBE for services to rowing.
The former Prince Henry’s High School pupil and Evesham Rowing Club member got a gold medal in London 2012 in the coxless four event.
Andrew Harris, aged 68, from Droitwich, got his MBE for charitable services and for services to the community in Bromsgrove.
The non-executive chairman of LG Harris and Co was involved for some years with the Avoncroft Museum of Buildings, and has been a long-time supporter of the Bromsgrove Music Festival.
He is currently a trustee of the Norton Collection Museum Trust, and is actively involved in the campaign to have the museum housing the collection in Bromsgrove reopened.
Helping save lives for the last seven years is what got Paul Gittins his MBE.
The 65-year-old, who spent 35 years as a retained firefighter in his home
town of Bewdley, has helped thousands of people since first volunteering as a community first responder in 2005. So far this year he has been out to 521 incidents.
As a Bewdley town councillor for the last 19 years he has also served as the town’s Mayor twice, and volunteered for a number of bodies including the Royal British Legion, the civic society and the carnival committee and works at Age UK as a supervisor.
Thelma Roll, aged 86, from Stoke Prior, near Bromsgrove, gets her MBE for services to the community in Stoke Prior.
Mrs Roll served as a member of the parish council for more than 30 years, including eight as chairman and is still a member of the village’s residents’ association.
Among her achievements have been saving the post office, the doctors’ surgery and the village hall. She is also an active church member in the choir.
Graham Houghton, West Side neighbourhood watch link co-ordinator in St John’s, Worcester, was awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to
The 59-year-old has held the role for 29 years and in that time has built up the branch to include 98 coordinators.
He said: “If I can stop someone being burgled I will do.”
Carl Jones, local policing sergeant for St John’s, said he was delighted to hear of Mr Houghton’s honour.
“He is a dedicated and enthusiastic Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator,” he said. “This is a well deserved award.”
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