St Albans residents named in Queen’s Birthday Honours

NINE residents of the St Albans district were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this week.

The diversity of the individuals awarded the honours nationwide is reflected in those named locally, with a sea cadet instructor, a professor, and a teacher among them.

Ted Hill, 52, a sea cadet instructor and a former district councillor was awarded an MBE for his services to the voluntary sector in Herts, Beds and London over the last 30 years.

He said he was astonished by the news. “This came as a complete surprise and I am both delighted and honoured, literally. I think such an award recognises the value and contribution of the voluntary sector as a whole.”

Ted, born and bred in St Albans, is now the chief executive for Hillingdon Association for Voluntary Services in West London having previously worked for Citizens Advice, Mind in Barnet and Save the Children.

Also recognised for his work in the voluntary sector is Dr Justin Davis Smith. The chief executive of Volunteering England has worked in the volunteering movement for over 20 years, advising the UK government, the World Bank and the UN over the development of volunteering policy.

A committed follower of Watford, the football fan is also assisting the committee behind the 2012 Olympic Games with the development of its volunteering strategy. Dr Davis Smith said: “I welcome this honour as recognition of the esteem and value which volunteering holds in our society. I hope very much this recognition will serve to keep the focus on the importance of volunteering in our communities and the need for proper resources and support across public, private and voluntary sectors.”

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Harpenden resident, Keith Brooker, receives an OBE for services to vocational and technical education training and told the Herts Advertiser that the recognition had humbled him.

A passionate advocate of learning opportunities for all, Keith is governor of Barnfield College in Luton, a trustee at the Institute of Leadership and Management and the Learning and Skills Improvement Service.

The 61 year old is retired but says he continues to work towards ensuring everyone is able to access learning that is suited to them and their abilities: “I was extremely surprised by the honour and feel a bit humbled by it because I know that lots of people do great stuff and they do it quietly and don’t get the recognition but they are probably more deserving.”


Professor Sandy Cairncross is awarded an OBE for his pioneering work to bring sanitation to some of the world’s poorest communities. The St Albans resident who is Professor of Environmental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is honoured for his services to developing countries and a “lifetime of selfless commitment and outstanding personal contributions.”

Over the last three decades, the 63 year old has dedicated his career to seeing access to basic life-saving services, such as safe drinking water and basic toilets, increased in the poorest countries in the world.

Professor Cairncross has worked to find innovative ways to prevent disease by improving people’s environments. He has played a critical role in reducing cases of Guinea Worm disease in West Africa from 3.5 million in 1986 to 3,000 cases in 2009.

He said the OBE was recognition of the importance of environmental health. “It is often neglected by comparison with more glamorous fields of health research. Everything I’ve achieved has been the result of team work and I hope my colleagues realise the extent to which they too have earned this honour.”

Civil engineer Terry Hill is honoured with a CBE.

The father of three who was born in Manchester but is now a resident of St Albans is recognised for his services to civil engineering.

Since 1976, Terry has worked for Arup and is currently the chair of their transport market responsible for the aviation, maritime, rail and highways global business.

He said: “Receiving this award for services to civil engineering is a testament to the great team I have worked with over the years at Arup, as well as all the members of the profession who contribute so much to society in so many different ways.”

Michael Staff, the former chairman of Abbeyfield, the St Albans-based national charity which provides housing for older people, has also been recognised for his services to charity. He received an MBE and said: “I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to receive an MBE and delighted to be recognised for my volunteering work, which is such a huge and rewarding part of my life.”

Sarah Moreland, an SEN advanced Skills Practitioner at Oaklands College receives an MBE for her services to further education. Mrs Moreland is a key figure in the college’s Riding for the Disabled (RDA) and will head off at the end of this month to the Special Olympics in Athens as head coach for the equestrian team.

Other St Albans residents honoured were District Judge of the Principal Registry of the Family Division, Philip Waller who receives a CBE and Christine Cole, an epilepsy nurse specialist from London Colney, who is recognised for services to people with special needs with an MBE.