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Geoff Banks BEM with his family

This year’s presentation of awards by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Mrs Susie Sheldon JP, were held at the Royal Yacht Squadron last Wednesday (2nd October).

Guests were welcomed by Brigadier (Retired) Maurice Sheen CBE, Chairman of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Committee of the South East Reserve Forces and Cadets’ Association (SERFCA).

There were 3 recipients of the British Empire Medal (BEM), which was established in 1922:

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Geoff Banks recently stood down from Cowes Town Council after 29 years of service. He played a pivotal role in the 75th Anniversary commemoration of the Polish warship ORP Błyskawica which saved Cowes in May 1942. Geoff was recently honoured by the people of Poland.

Terence Blunden, a retired teacher, has a long association with the IW branch of the Historical Association. He has been involved with Newport Rowing Club for half a century and was Chairman of the IW Sports & Recreation Council for 20 years.

• A union rep for Unison, Yvonne White’s BEM was awarded for her work involving equality and diversity.

After a long civil service career Philip Vey was honoured with the Imperial Service Medal for loyal and meritorious service to the crown.

Meritorious service Certificates were presented to Captain David Clark RLC, Flight Lieutenant Tony Gear RAFAC and civilian caretaker at the Newport Army Reserve Centre, Mrs Elizabeth Priddle.

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Having given what was described as an amazing commitment of man hours Special inspector Andrew Pullen of Hampshire Constabulary, was recognised for his service as a member of the Special Constabulary.

50 years commitment to the Civil service is quite rare, but that is why Glyn Jenkins from HMP Isle of Wight was honoured with the Civil Service Award. A keen runner and triathlete Glyn’s career began at HM Dockyard at the age of 16 before he transferred to the prison service. Now working in the admin department Glyn said that he had no plans to retire yet.

Cadet Staff Sergeant Alexandra Franklin and Cadet Corporal Trinity Wiltshire were awarded the CVQO Certificate of Recognition Award.

For outstanding service to their Cadet Units four cadets were chosen by Susie Sheldon to escort her on her official duties during the following year. This quartet comprised Cadet Sergeant Annabelle Fletcher, Cadet Corporal Liam Chandler, Cadet Corporal Emely Luhan and Cadet Sergeant Hannah Mendoza.

In her summing up address the Lord-Lieutenant said that it was a great privilege to be attending an event with Island residents who had contributed to their communities and thanked all the volunteers on the Island and all the people who support the Reserve Forces and Cadets.

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