Published on Thursday, December 31, 1998
Former Prime Minister John Major becomes a Companion of Honour in the New Year Honours list for his vital work for peace in Northern Ireland.
Leading a list of almost 1,000 members of British society, ranging from parliamentarians to shepherds, Mr Major was picked out by his successor Tony Blair for his groundwork that led the province to its historic Good Friday agreement in 1998.
Order of the British Empire - MBE
Stuart Wilson Aaron. Responsible Care manager, Chemical Industry Association. For services to Energy Efficiency in the Chemicals Industry. (Boughton Under Blean, Kent)
Jack Abbott. For services to Disabled Ex-Servicemen in Manchester. (Middleton, Greater Manchester)
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Mrs June Margaret Randall. For services to the South West Wiltshire Care at Home Service. (Gillingham, Dorset)
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Tim Yau. For services to the Chinese community and to Community Relations. (London, W1V)
Kai Kin Yung. For services to the National Portrait Gallery. (London, SW15)
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Eleven years ago I wrote a sonnet celebrating my sister-in-law’s achievement. Today I post it to my blog to commemorate her award and to wish her and her family a very Happy New Year.
This is the day our Sovereign Lady makes known the names
Of those who've done some signal service to the state
And whom, recognizant, she wishes shortly to instate
In chivalric order, or to dub them knights and dames.
There's Major, our last P.M; top civil servants who belong
To West End clubs and manage massive Whitehall fiefs;
Air marshals, admirals – bemedalled Service chiefs –
Are on the list of those who'll soon receive another gong.
But look! Another service (Care at Home, Wilts South West)
Receives its hour's deserved attention in the public eye
And its erstwhile mainspring finds her name to lie
In this year's roll-call of Britain's greatest and its best;
And, among the Palace-bound, next Spring you'll see
June Margaret (Vicky) Randall, M.B.E !