THE naming of Michael Keigwin in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list is richly deserved.

Awards such as MBEs should be for selfless and inspirational work, and few recipients could be considered more so than the Masham resident who turned his attentions to the plight of African elephants two decades ago.

His efforts saw a range of initiatives introduced to conserve wildlife, leading elephant crop raiding to be reduced by 90 per cent. Not content with some initial successes, Mr Keigwin went on to resign from his job to further moves to prevent poachers in Uganda from feeding the repugnant ivory trade.

His achievements include the development of a law enforcement and intelligence tool, which has resulted in the highest poacher prosecution rates in Africa.

After learning of his accolade, the Masham Cricket Club supporter paid tribute to the courage of colleagues who had been killed trying to protect wildlife.

With Mr Keigwin’s modesty, it is fitting that his work has been highlighted and it’s certain that there will be a strong sense of pride across the area in what he has achieved.

FALCONER Mike Kinder’s heart-warming tribute to the surgeon who saved his life after his veins “turned to bone” is a wonderfully poignant prelude to 2017.

After all he has been through he now lives life for every minute of every day - which is something we should all consider following the prevailing negative sentiments of the last year. The coming months are likely to see scrutiny of the way NHS resources are distributed and spent like never before, but Mr Kinder’s story emphasises how lucky we are to have first class health services.