15 Dec Shropshire Star Blog – December 2022
The last few months have been a time of settling into a new norm.
We have a new King and we are awaiting details of what the new Monarchy will look like.
In the meantime, Lieutenancy work continues.
This Autumn has been busy.
It has been wonderful to present the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (QAE) to Derwen College recently and I am very much looking forward to presenting further QAEs to three other fantastic Shropshire businesses – i2r Packaging, Stallion AI and Jesmonite Ltd.
One of the best parts of my role is presenting BEMs to those awarded with a national honour for their outstanding service in the community, announced in the Honours lists twice yearly.
This year was particularly poignant as I was presenting the last BEMs of Her Majesty, the late Queen Elizabeth’s reign. A very special ceremony was generously hosted by Telford & Wrekin council at the newly refurbished Anstice Hall in Madeley
We were pleased to hear of the continuation of the Queen’s Green Canopy campaign until March 2023 and Salopians have once again started tree-planting.
We were lucky enough to be given two trees from the ‘Tree of Trees’ which stood tall as a message of hope and optimism to the nation and the world as part of the Platinum Jubilee weekend celebrations.
The first of the trees was presented to local nature group, Friends of Dothill, a dedicated group of volunteers who help maintain and improve Dothill Local Nature Reserve.
The second was presented Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing (STAR).
It was lovely to be able to unveil a new art piece titled The Sky Begins at My Feet which was installed on the Wrekin as part of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022 legacy.
The artwork was created using stoneware clay ‘relief tiles’ placed around each of the existing structures on the Wrekin to fit into the historic landscape. The portraits acknowledge, identify and celebrate local heroes and heroines representing the rich diversity and heritage evident through the achievements of the people who live and work in Telford, either past or present
In October, it was with sadness that I took the salute as HMS Talent returned the Freedom Rights to Shrewsbury.
HMS Talent returned the Freedom of the Town, which had been a gift given 20 years ago by the people and Mayor of Shrewsbury. The submarine has now been decommissioned.
Remembrance Day services were held throughout Shropshire and it was an honour for myself, my Vice Lord-Lieutenant and my Deputy Lieutenants to represent the Monarchy.
These occasions enable us to meet the most remarkable people. Deputy Lieutenant Veronica Lillis had the pleasure of meeting with 103-year-old Colin Cole who has been helping with the Poppy Appeal for well over 40 years with many stories to tell. She presented him with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Royal British Legion.
A special Remembrance Day ceremony was held at Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital.
The service was held outside the new pioneering Headley Court Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre built at the hospital in Oswestry.
Myself and other dignitaries cut the ribbon at this low-key opening ceremony. The official opening will be next March 2023.
We now look forward to Christmas festivities and celebrations in Shropshire.
I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and hopes for a calmer and more settled 2023.We have had a year of sadness but success too, with celebrations for the many honours recipients in the County. My Deputy Lieutenants will continue to search the County for those unsung heroes that work tirelessly to make life better for others and successful businesses who deserve recognition for outstanding achievement.