Sunday, January 01, 2006

Celebrating … and not just the New Year

Six weeks ago I came home for a normal weekend home from University. As we sat down for a glass of wine, Daddy presented Bro and I with an envelope addressed to him marked ‘Prime Minister’, ‘Urgent’ and ‘Personal.’ It advised Daddy that ‘the Prime Minister has it in mind, on the occasion of the forthcoming New Year Honours, to submit your name to The Queen with a recommendation that Her Majesty may be graciously pleased to approve that you be appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire’. It took Bro and I at least four re-readings to understand this and, even today, we are gobsmacked; we are so pleased that all his work has been recognised in such an unexpected way. The astonishment gave way to absolute pleasure, pride and delight. The wine also gave way to (several bottles of) Champagne.

Apparently, the honour is for:

‘Services to Welfare to Work.
Chair, National Employment Panel, Liverpool and Sefton Employer Coalition’.

This relates to the occasional work that he’s done ‘with the Department for Work and Pensions under the auspices of the New Deal – helping with the development and implementation of the employer engagement strategy for bringing the long-term unemployed and other economically inactive groups into the active employment market.’ (I quote Daddy’s succinct and modest explanation.)

Somewhere else in the letter, it asks whether ‘this would be agreeable’. Well it was most agreeable: not only to him but also to the entire family. However, since then, we have had to keep quiet so as not to break the news black-out. It has been a hard secret to keep but a wonderful one.

So, last night, the Queen did ‘graciously agree’ and we can now publicly celebrate with Daddy. We are all thrilled for him and are looking forward to our trip to The Palace in 2006.

Many Congratulations, Daddy (OBE),