THREE city people got the best gift ever this year by being honoured by Her Majesty The Queen.
Keith Panes was given an OBE, while Miriam Baldock and Marie Collins have been awarded the MBE in the New Year’s honours list.
Miriam won her gong for services to West Bletchley Community Association after spending almost 40 years working there.
The 67-year-old moved to West Bletchley in 1972 and quickly joined the association working as a volunteer. She stayed there until 1984 when a job became available part-time, which she has carried on until now.
Miriam said: “I have loved working here as the part-time status meant that I could work and spend time with my family.”
She works 12 hours a week and said she couldn’t do it without the ‘fantastic’ support of her husband and the workers and volunteers who work there.
Miriam received her letter in November saying she was being considered but it was only when she received a letter from Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, addressed to Miriam Baldock MBE that she realised she had been successful.
Marie’s MBE recognises her work in the voluntary service for sport. When she moved to Milton Keynes she joined Bedford Ladies Rowing Club where she raced for a number of years and remains a life member.
However, a battle with MS means she is now unable to get into a boat. She is currently the secretary of Emberton Park Sailing Club where she has her own GP14 dinghy. In the last 20 years she has served as a parish councilor for New Bradwell where she helped initially to form the Residents’ Association around 20 years ago.
She said: “I sit on various committees on behalf of Sport Milton Keynes and have been chairman for five years having served on the committee for over 25 years. I had to read the letter I got three or four times.”
Marie is now planning to travel to London in style – in her sister’s partner’s Jaguar.
Keith, who was formerly Academy Project Lead at the Schools Directorate for the Department for Education has been awarded the OBE for his work there.