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Honours for Spain based Brits amongst the New Years list

Updated: Mar 1, 2020

Nine British nationals in Spain have been honoured in traditional new year list among a gallery of stars

Her Majesty's Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, commented “It is extraordinary to see nine British nationals awarded at the same time – a real testament to the depth and diversity of the UK-Spain relationship and to the contribution that so many British nationals make to their communities across Spain."

Among the recipients is Christopher Dottie, President of the British Chamber of Commerce, Spain, who has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services to British business in Spain.

Chris Dottie

Hugh Elliott stated "Chris provides exceptional leadership for the UK business community in Spain. On his watch he has enabled the Chamber to transform from an expat business network into a strong and effective representative of business, a public advocate for UK-Spain commercial relations and the source of respected research and analysis. We are indebted to him for his support for our vibrant business relationship.”

A further recipient is Veronica Wheeler, President of the British Benevolent Association (BBA) of Girona has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to British Nationals Overseas.

Veronica Wheeler

A former nurse, who moved to Spain in 2004, Veronica Wheeler has devoted years of voluntary service to helping the British community in Girona – over the past four years as President of the BBA. From helping British nationals navigate what, for some, can be highly complex bureaucratic processes, to visiting vulnerable British nationals in hospital, Veronica has applied her experience and dedication as a volunteer to helping the BBA provide greater assistance each year to the ageing British resident community on the Costa Brava.

Veronica Wheeler said: “I feel very honoured to receive this award, which, I feel, recognises the input of all the volunteers and members of the British Benevolent Association in Girona Province in providing help and support to UK citizens in the area.”

Hugh Elliott added " The increasing importance of volunteer activities to the wellbeing of those living in or passing through the province of Girona and the Costa Brava is clear. Without the assistance provided by Veronica and the BBA, the British Consulate would not be able to provide support to some of the most vulnerable British nationals in Spain and, for this, we are hugely thankful for Veronica´s hard work and support.”

The full list of the nine UK nationals living in Spain is as follows:

- An MBE to Mr Mark Petrie, Honorary Consul, Denia, Spain. “For services to British Nationals Overseas.”

- An MBE to Dr Charles Betty, Charity and Community Worker in Spain; retired. “For services to British Nationals Overseas.”

- An MBE to Mr Christopher Mark Dottie, President, British Chamber of Commerce, Spain. “For services to British business in Spain.”

- A British Empire Medal (BEM) to Mrs Christine (Krista) Ann Hyer, President, Cancer support Group, Mallorca. “For services to the British Nationals Overseas.”

- A BEM to Mr Brian Thomas McLeod, Entertainer, Spain. “For services to charity.”

- A BEM to Mrs Betty Burgess, volunteer, Las Palmas, Spain. “For services to British Nationals Overseas.”

- A BEM to Mrs Maureen Payne, President, Age Concern, Costa Blanca Sur, Alicante, Spain. “For services to British Nationals Overseas.”

- A BEM to Mrs Sheila Stuart, Chairperson, British Ladies Association, Madrid, Spain. “For services to British Nationals Overseas.”

- A BEM to Mrs Veronica Wheeler, President, British Benevolent Association of Girona, Spain. “For services to British Nationals Overseas.”

Bulldogz would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all those who have received awards and thank them for their service to British Nationals in Spain.

The Famous names

Away from Spain the headlines are focused on the big announcements including British born Australian singer Olivia Newton-John made a Dame for services to charity, cancer research and entertainment. Film Directors Sam Mendes and Steve McQueen are awarded a Knighthood for his contribution to drama.

Musician Billy Idol is awarded an MBE and Snow Patrol lead singer Gary Lightbody is made an OBE for his services to music and his charity work after founding the Lightbody Foundation. Queen drummer Roger Taylor is made an OBE and Sir Elton John is upgraded to the elite companions of honour,an order restricted to only 65 members.

The England cricket team have been recognised after winning the world cup and journalist and former gymnast Gaby Logan is made an MBE.

In the world of politics former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith and Conservative MP Robert Neil are awarded Knighthoods whilst Labour MP Diana Johnson is made a Dame.

Author Rose Tremain, winner of both the Orange and Whitbread prizes has been made a Dame and former Playschool presenter Baroness Floella Benjamin has been made a Dame for her services to charity.

There will be discussion over one name that seems not to have made the list, controversial Eurosceptic MEP Nigel Farage had been heavily tipped to be made a Knight and is conspicuous in his absence.

What is the honours system?

The British honours system is the way in which the United Kingdom honours bravery, achievement or service. Along with the Queen's Birthday Honours list they are the most significant announcements of civilian and military gallantry awards in the UK.

How are people nominated and what for?

Anyone can nominate an individual for an honour and can do so via the government website here. Nominees are chosen based on three criteria : Degree of risk, awareness of danger and persistence. Further criteria for service are awarded for making a difference to their community or field of work, Enhancing Britain's reputation, long term voluntary service, innovation and entrepreneurship, achievement, improving life for those less able and displaying moral courage.

What types of honours are there?

The major honours are knighthood or Damehood (KBE or DBE), Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

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