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Honours recognise community champions

Michael Clarke has been awarded a British Empire Medal.  He has chaired the Bury branch of the Guide Dogs Association.

Michael Clarke has been awarded a British Empire Medal. He has chaired the Bury branch of the Guide Dogs Association.

A Dr, a charity fund-raiser and a former policeman are among those from the region recognised in the New Year’s Honours List.

Over 30 years Dr Peter Pitt, 80, has travelled with both widows and heroes to battle sites and cemeteries abroad.

He has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Dr Pitt said: “The wonderful thing was they were all frightened especially when they came to see the graves of their husbands’ for the first time.

“But the whole group was also was terribly happy by the last day. We gave them confidence.”

Dr Pitt, of Lavenham, travelled to locations including Burma and the island of Ambon with medical supplies.

He said his role was to give confidence to those making the pilgrimages and to provide medical treatment.

Over the 30 years he treated many people for a range of injuries and illnesses at no charge to the trips’ organisers.

Michael Clarke, 75, of Beck Row, had chaired the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in Bury St Edmunds for 33 years. He has been awarded the British Empire Medal.

He said: “To receive an award for something that has been enjoyable is very humbling.

“I sincerely thank everyone, especially the two ladies who have served on the committee since the first year, for their help and guidance through this long journey.”

Mr Clarke became involved with the association after the death of his wife, who had lost her sight, in 1981.

He set up a trust fund that saw eight guide dogs trained before establishing and chairing a new Bury St Edmunds branch.

In the 33 years since the first meeting Mr Clarke and his committee have raised £600,000 to provide guide dogs.

He continues to chair the association spearheading their fund-raising efforts.

An MBE has been awarded to retired police sergeant Neil Boast for services to policing. Mr Boast was a business support officer with Bid4Bury for six months.

CEO of the Inspiration Trust and chair of governors at Thetford Academy, Rachel de Souza, has been made a Dame of the British Empire in the list. The Inspiration Trust seeks to improve education standards in Norfolk.

 

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