A rare honour has been given to the man who led the team that built the Millennium Tower in Bury St Edmunds.
Horry Parsons delayed his retirement to take on the mammoth project at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.
And he then came out of retirement to work as a volunteer consultant or work to put in a vaulted ceiling in 2010.
On Sunday he was presented with the Order of St Edmund, an award for people who have given exemplary or unusual service to the cathedral.
He was only the tenth person in 11 years to receive the award.
“Apparently it is a rare honour. It was very emotional. Obviously I am very proud,” said Horry, 74, who lives in Lakenheath.
He had worked for the same building company for nearly 50 years working his way up from an apprentice carpenter, when the company won the tower contract in 1998.
“I’m Suffolk born and bred. I think of Bury as my home town. But I’d spent all of my working life in London, Cambridgeshire and other counties.
“Then this came up I thought it would be my final swan song, my legacy for my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. It gives me a lift every time I see it.”
In all it took 13 years – he only finished working on the tower earlier this year.
The Rt Rev Nigel Stock, Bishop of St Edmundsbury, presented Horry with his award. “I think it is true to say that without Horry our Millennium Tower would not have been built,” he said.
“He was the right man at the right time to meet the needs of the cathedral community.
“He is a man of real integrity and diligence.”
Now retired Horry spends his time giving after dinner talks about the Millennium Tower project
He is also a ‘long suffering’ Ipswich Town Supporter and is also involved in amateur dramatics.
“It really thrills me to see the tower now floodlit. It really brings another dimension to the building,” Horry said.