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Proud day as medal honour revived
11:53am Friday 14th September 2012 in News
TEN local heroes have been awarded with British Empire Medals in the first ceremony of its kind for 20 years.
The honour, which was discontinued in Britain by John Major in 1992, was brought back for the Queen’s diamond jubilee to recognise “the dedication and hard work so many provide to their communities”.
Unlike other honours, the medal is not awarded by the Queen or Prince of Wales, but by Lord- Lieutenants, the Crown’s representatives for each county in the UK.
At a ceremony at County Hall, Northallerton , Lord Crathorne, the Lord- Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, presented the accolade to Bedale sports coach Adrian Grayson, who has been an inspirational figure to thousands of youngsters for more than 40 years.
Other recipients included church worker and local history researcher Carol McGee, for services to the community in Bilsdale, on the North York Moors and Douglas Raine, of Sandsend.
Mr Raine, who ran the village’s only food store for 43 years and served with the Whitby Coastguards for 20 years, also played a leading role in developing an array of sporting facilities at Lythe.
He said: “It was a fantastic day for all the recipients and their families. At first I was bit reluctant to accept the medal as it is the people around me that have made me, so I accepted it on behalf of what everyone has done.”
Lord Crathorne said he was delighted the honour had been restored to recognise the hands-on contribution of community stalwarts.
He said: “The people who received the British Empire Medal have slipped through the honours net since it was removed in 1992, so it was particularly special to be able to present the first of these medals in 20 years.”