British Empire Investure
BRITISH EMPIRE MEDALS (BEM) INVESTITURE
The BEM dates from 1917 and is awarded for meritorious service deemed worthy of recognition by the Crown. Initially it was divided into Military and Civil Divisions. The practice of awarding the British Empire Medal to subjects of the United Kingdom was resumed in June 2012, to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, although only in the civil division.
The medal is affiliated with the Order of the British Empire and recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal letters ‘BEM’.
Medals are presented by the Lord-Lieutenant of each county on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen. In the West Midlands, a special investiture ceremony is held annually for the recipients named in both the New Year Honours and in the Queen’s Birthday lists.
The inaugural ceremony was held on Monday 12th September 2016. The event was hosted by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham and was held in the Banqueting Suite at Birmingham Council House. The Vice Lord-Lieutenant of West Midlands, Colonel George Marsh TD presented the medals to 24 recipients.
Mrs Julia BARNARD BEM For services to charitable fundraising (Walsall)
For the last 29 years, Mrs Barnard has arranged an outstanding Christmas decorations display in her garden for general public viewing in December. She has raised money for national organisations and for local charities and she personally funds the running costs.
Mr Michael BEARD BEM For services to sport (Solihull)
Has given over 55 years’ voluntary service to swimming and water polo in the West Midlands and he still coaches at Solihull Swimming Club at least four times per week.
Mrs Bridget CAMERON BEM For services to the community (Birmingham)
For over 50 years Mrs Cameron has served the cause of young people in Birmingham and also the families of offenders in the West Midlands.
Mr Peter CHAMBERS BEM For services to Music (Coventry)
For the last 33 years Mr Chambers has generally promoted music in Coventry and in particular Two Tone, pulling together communities from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
Dr Darren DANIELS BEM For services to Health (Solihull)
Dr Daniels is the Chief Executive and one of the founders of the UK Sepsis Trust. He is awarded the BEM for improving services for sepsis sufferers.
Mr Dennis DAVISON BEM Community Service (Coventry)
As a veteran soldier and a community champion, he has set up Normandy UK and also the Peace through Unity project. He is awarded the BEM for Second World War commemoration and memorialisation. He was also awarded the Legion d’Honneur this year and in 1982 he was awarded the Commemoration Medal for Services to the French Nation.
Mrs Jean FLETCHER BEM Community Service (Dudley)
Since retiring as a nurse, Mrs Fletcher has volunteered at Mary Stevens Hospice, using her nursing skills and experience to support patients and families.
Mrs Keelie HILL BEM For services to children with special educational needs and disabilities (Coventry)
Mrs Hill works at Sherborne Fields School in Coventry, with pupils whose needs include physical disabilities, medical conditions and learning needs. Kelly set up the UK’s first disabled cheerleading group The Sherbourne Stars.
Mr David HORTON BEM For services to life saving (Walsall)
Despite not learning to swim until 1981, Mr Horton went on to start a Life Saving Club in 1984 and since then has trained hundreds of young people about water safety, drowning prevention techniques and life support procedures.
Mrs Jacqueline HUMPRHIES BEM Community Service (Tipton)
Mrs Humphries has set up a homeless shelter, raised funds for a young girl with brittle bone disease, works closely with the Princes Trust to support young people, has been a Brownie leader for over 15 years, as well as being a lay preacher.
Mrs Lynne JANKOWSKA BEM For services to Care Quality in Mental Health Services (Dudley)
As one of Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership Trusts’ longest serving Experts by Experience, Mrs Jankowska has helped to make improvements to the design and delivery of the Trust’s Services.
Mrs Rehana KHAN BEM Community Services (Birmingham)
Mrs Khan manages two key service areas – the Shakti Day Centre for Asian Elders and the Bharosa Domestic Abuse Services. She provides support to some of the most vulnerable Asian people in Birmingham, including voluntary work providing informal counselling and advice.
Mr Lionel KING BEM Community Services (Solihull)
Mr King has been a community champion for many years in Chadwick End and been involved in numerous projects to improve facilities and enhance the lives of the residents.
Mr Anthony LINGER BEM Community Service (Sutton Coldfield)
Has given nearly 50 years’ voluntary service through a spectrum of community causes in Sutton Coldfield. He is a volunteer of Late Night Listeners providing guidance to young residents, and also treasurer of the charity Lives Released helping ex-offenders resettle back into the community.
Mrs Maureen MEEHAN BEM Voluntary service to crime prevention in Birmingham.
Has co-ordinated her local Neighbourhood Watch and worked to prevent crime for over 25 years in Stockland Green. This included an alleyway clean-up programme which has helped get rid of anti-social behaviour in the area.
Mr Alan MURDOCH BEM Services to medical education and research (Birmingham)
Mr Murdoch has worked for 40 years at the University of Birmingham. As a senior technical manager at the University’s Institute of Biomedical Research, he has been involved in both teaching and research within the department, supporting thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate students who have studied anatomy.
Mr Shaminder Singh RAI BEM Services to Education (Birmingham)
Mr Rai is the Chief of Operations at Nishkam High School in Birmingham. He is also involved in numerous community volunteering projects including serving and making food for the homeless.
Mr Habib REHMAN BEM Services to business and community relations in Birmingham
Worked to secure greater community cohesion in Birmingham, particularly between different religions and ethnic groups. Following the 2011 riots, he organised and managed a peace rally.
Mrs Pearly REID BEM Services to the Community (West Bromwich)
For over 30 years Mrs Reid has given unstinting service to the community in West Bromwich. Since retiring as a nurse, she has used her skills to be a vital part of the Anglican church’s outreach into the community. She has been an active member of the Mothers Union, the Women’s Guild, served on the Parochial Church council and as a school governor for 30 years.
Reverend Neil ROBERTS BEM Services to the Community in North Solihull
For over 20 years Rev Roberts has been the minister and community leader of Chelmsley Wood Baptist Church. He has led on the development of Three Trees Community Centre which has become an independent community hub, home to numerous activities and groups. He has been the major player in raising over £725,000 to refurbish the centre.
Mr Shahzada SALEEM BEM Services to the sport of Stone Lifting (Dudley)
Mr Saleem is a champion stone lifter, excelling in the sport from 1985 until 1996. When he retired he set up the Shazad Academy to teach the young and disadvantaged and helped many turn their lives around and not to turn to crime. He set up the Kashmir Youth forum in 2001 which is a self-funding voluntary organisation, making a significant contribution to community cohesion.
Mr Michael SHARPE BEM Services to Local Government and the community in Birmingham
Mr Sharpe was involved in local politics for nearly 30 years and is a former Lord Mayor of Birmingham. His charity work and fundraising has extended to his support for army veterans. He is president of the local Royal British Legion Club and Vice President of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association. He continues to help raise the profile of kidney charities.
Mrs Mary TROW BEM Voluntary services to gymnastics. (Solihull)
Mrs Trow has been the backbone of running Solihull Olympic Gymnastic Club for over forty years. She is both the Club Secretary and the Treasurer, and excels at fundraising for the club.
Ms Rosemary WEAVER BEM Voluntary Services to the Community in Meriden
Ms Weaver has devoted nearly 30 years to the well-being of her community in Meriden. She has been involved in numerous projects to improve facilities and enhance the lives of the residents.
Also in attendance were the High Sheriff, the Lord Mayors of Birmingham and Coventry and the Mayors of Dudley, Solihull, Sandwell and Walsall. A number of Deputy Lieutenants were also present.
Vice Lord-Lieutenant presenting British Empire Medal to Dr Darren Daniels BEM
The medals were presented on a special cushion commissioned by Buckingham Palace to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen becoming the nation's longest reigning monarch.
Music was supplied courtesy of Colmore Brass, who are a quintet of students from Birmingham Conservatoire.
Photographs were taken by Mr Richard Lycett, who also covers many of the citizenship ceremonies across the West Midlands county.
Four Lord-Lieutenant Cadets assisted in the ceremony.
After the formal presentation, the recipients joined the Vice Lord-Lieutenant and their respective Lord Mayor / Mayor for photos, then rejoined their guests for refreshments.
Mrs Pearly Reid BEM with Vice Lord-Lieutenant and Lord Mayor of Birmingham
The event was well covered by the press – including the News story from Big Centre Television – see the following