Islanders recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Fantastic to hear that so many Islanders have been recognised for their services to the community and environment.

HRH The Queen:

Congratulations to the six Islanders have been recognised for their work or services in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Member of the British Empire
Sandown town councillor, Heather Humby will be made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for over forty years of services to Sandown.

Helen Butler from Binstead will be made an MBE for her incredible conservation work for Red Squirrels over the last 22 years with the Wight Squirrel Project and Red Squirrel Trust.

Lt Dominic Valvona from Ryde will receive an MBE for his engineering work in the Antarctic on ice patrol vessel HMS Protector.

British Empire Medals
Jillie Wheeler from Bembridge will be awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her fundraising work for charity, having raised over £95,000 over the years.

Rosemary Mitchell will receive a BEM for her services to the East Cowes community. Rosemary is the brainchild behind the popular jigsaw puzzle festival which has raised £19,000 for St James’ Church.

Order of the British Empire
Scientist Mark Simmonds who was born in Shanklin and now lives in Bath was awarded an OBE for his work in marine conservation with whales.

Earlier this month, Rosie Wolfenden from Bonchurch, but now living in London, was awarded an MBE as a fashion innovator. Rosie set up Tatty Devine 13 years ago with Harriet Vine. They started out selling hand-made jewellery at Portobello market and now have two branches of Tatty Devine in London.

Image: Michael Gwyther-Jones under CC BY 2.0

Saturday, 22nd June, 2013 9:56am



Filed under: Business, Community, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

Print Friendly


Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. Maggie Currie

    22.Jun.2013 11:57am

    Well done to all those receiving honours for the good works they have done. They should all feel very proud.

  2. The whole honours system has been brought into disrepute by governments of all shades. Honours given to party members as rewards for favours done has discredited what should be a recognition for service to the country.

    Worse still, there seems to be no consistency with respect to who gets what. An example

    A man who cracked the most secret German codes during World War 2, saving the lives of thousands, receives an MBE some 60 years after the event. Meanwhile my ex neighbour in the Midlands receives an MBE for organising an after school kids club. If I was the code breaker I would tell them where to stick the MBE.

    Then we have knighthoods for people who organise professional footballers to kick a bag of wind about for 90 minutes. The whoe honours system is a shambles.

  3. Don Smithd

    23.Jun.2013 10:15pm

    I could’t agree more. What war did princess Anne serve in? She’s got more medals than…And a different uniform for every day.

    Honours are getting out of hand; and do lose their credibility and value.

    All the bankers that ripped us all off, are Sir or Lord. What a shambles.

  4. just a little one

    24.Jun.2013 7:29am

    The Honours system might well be outdated. I do not know enough, unlike Brian and Don, to have an informed view. However, what I do know, is that Jillie Wheeler is very deserving of her BEM. It is a long overdue recognition of all the work she does (along with the lovely Cassie) for Charity. This work goes on all through the year.

    You never meet Jillie without her telling you of her next venture to raise funds for the Hospice, Deaf Children, Friends of the Animals or other charities she supports.
    Why not pop along to Bembridge on the 6th July and support her next venture which is raising funds, along with Cassie and their wonderful supporters to raise funds to help sick animals. (The four legged kind). She has arranged a fabulous afternoon with so much going on.

    Sal and Simon, Jillie would be a wonderful interviewee, she has a fantastic sense of humour and puts 100% in to her charity work.

    • Helping with a charity is OK – I do a little myself by a monthly donations.

      But when these people are working for noting, just ask what the chief executives of nearly all charities pay themselves.

      Most Celebs. latch on to a charity, that’s a fact.

      • just a little one

        24.Jun.2013 4:18pm

        Glad you think helping with charity is OK Don, and that you do a little yourself by monthly donations.
        These “people” as you put it are working for nothing. Perhaps I can put it another way, these volunteers work for the satisfaction they get out of it. The put in far more than a monthly donation and do not look for payment.
        Have you or those close to you ever been in hospital and purchased a newspaper from the trolley in the ward? Manned by a volunteer who cares.
        Have you ever needed the Hospice? Many who undertake tasks there are volunteer’s. Have you ever wondered where they get their funding? From charity shops, manned by volunteer’s. Where else does their money come from? Walk the Wight, all volunteers taking part, because they care, they have a heart and they want to give to their communities.
        Ever needed the Air Ambulance? Run mostly on funding raised by volunteers?
        Ever been lonely, Age UK can help with someone to visit, another volunteer. Need your toe nails cutting, again try Age UK.
        Don’t understand your tax coding, disability form, blue badge application. (I think once you said you had a blue badge), then Age UK will help fill the forms in, the person doing this will be ——-yes you’ve guessed, a volunteer.
        If it was down to people like you Don then services in the community would be virtually nil. Don’t worry though, just go off on another cruise or go fishing.
        One day you might just need to enter the real world and realise how wonderful these volunteers are and how a recognition for one or two makes it worthwhile for the rest.

  5. It’s a hearty well done to all awarded for the good work that you do. You make the Island a better place.
    I have known previous recipients, and have seen the joy awards give, for what does sometimes seem a thankless endeavour.

    I doubt very much if those honoured would begrudge Brian and Don an accolade for their public spirited efforts, if they have done anything of repute.
    It’s not too late to change your ways chaps.
    A little less time glued to the screen and we may be congratulating them next year – or is this just sour grapes?

  6. When bankers and others, who have made millions on the backs of ordinary people get rewarded, it makes me sick – Nothing to do with sour grapes.

    I spent fourteen months in Korea and two and half years in the far East. I have done my bit for Queen and country.

    How long are the princes (Captains now) away from the luxury of the palaces? Part-time soldiers. Soon they will be Generals:-)

    I have no objection to people being awarded honours for acts of bravery, but not for just doing a job that they are very well paid for; or for wining gongs that the public have supported them – They are then celebrities and reside in mansions. Time they paid a little back.

    I go fishing; no handouts for me, not that I would expect any, it’s my chosen pastime.

    • Have to agree there, Don. When Mark Phillips started courting Anne he was a lieutenant and was made a captain before you could say “attention”!!

      Then Tim Laurence was a commander when he met Anne now he has gone from commander to captain to vice-admiral, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order and Companion of the Order of the Bath. Probably nothing to do with being married to Anne. I’m sure he is there on merit

  7. Don
    I applaud you for the good things that you have done, as I’m sure do any right thinking people who use this site, but why try to take the shine off awards given out to others.
    Are you ‘sick’ because you didn’t receive an award? Which you may well have accepted in your youth?
    No one is claiming that ALL awards are equally just but there are more deserving causes to target your anger.
    Enjoy your fishing and all the other benefits that Queen and country do bestow upon you.

  8. Bystander

    24.Jun.2013 1:26pm

    I was surprised the Wayne Whittle wasn’t recognised this year although feel it will inevitably come at some point in the not too distant future.

    • Oh, Wayne. Stop it! ;-)

    • Rose Tint

      24.Jun.2013 2:52pm

      As a wild guess, perhaps they don’t like his conviction for selling unsafe and counterfeit goods?

      • Bystander

        24.Jun.2013 3:33pm

        A simple oversight at a time of intense family trauma

        • kevin Barclay-Jay

          24.Jun.2013 4:07pm

          Bystander is Wayne Whittle…I’m almost proud he doesnt like me :)

          • Bystander

            24.Jun.2013 4:32pm

            Don’t like you? I wouldn’t go that far, although I wouldn’t vote for you, but that hardly puts for in a minority does it? Oh, and I’m not WW but I’m certainly most flattered to be mistaken for him.

          • @Bystander “Oh, and I’m not WW but I’m certainly most flattered to be mistaken for him.”

            ‘Nuff said! :-))

          • Bystander

            24.Jun.2013 6:37pm

            Agreed Cicero, although little doubt intended to be derogatory.

            I’m afraid I hold my own views formed through my experiences and refuse be shouted down by the mob for refusing to comply with the oh so predictable anti-County Press, anti- Wayne Whittle etc etc agenda. I understood there was supposed to be a Renascence taking place on the Island but the attitudes of some on this website appear to be well and truly stuck in the past.

          • @Bystander

            Are not the Conservative Party (to whose coat WW turned after being elected previously as an Independent)) the CP that you so valiantly support also “stuck in the past” ? :-))

          • I cant stand the Tories personally but WW was, very recently, elected decisively on his own merits by his residents. His disillusionment with Independents is self evident but his switch to the Tories was well and truly endorsed by the electorate so I don’t see how the defection can possibly be held against him, unless a person has an agenda. I don’t valiantly support the CP at all, in fact I don,t particularly like it, but I wont dismiss it out of hand just because its the CP as is often the tone here.

          • As you say, in the recent election, WW’s defection was supported albeit with a reduced majority on a reduced turnout.

            Of course, WW was free to change his political allegiance from that on which he was elected in 2009.

            However, IMHO he should have resigned at that moment and stood in the resulting bye-election in his new colours.

          • Bystander

            25.Jun.2013 4:48pm

            Your figures may be accurate but they give a misleading view of WW’s decisive victory at the recent election as this time WW won with 324 votes compared to 364 votes in his victory at the 2009 election, but this time around he was 133 votes ahead of the next highest candidate (Valvona Independents) whereas in 2009 he was only 46 votes ahead of the second place (Axford, Conservative). To me that is a very decisive victory, especially considering he had previously changed party part way through his term. Although I agree with you on the point that he should have resigned his seat and triggered a bye election.

          • Sally Perry

            25.Jun.2013 4:56pm

            I’m not quite sure how comments on an article about Queen’s Birthday Awards have developed into a discussion about Wayne Whittle and his election results, but can we please keep discussions on topic.

            Thank you.

          • Bystander

            25.Jun.2013 5:55pm

            OK Sally, but my original comment was in the context of Honours and I had to put the record straight when WW was misrepresented as having made my comment himself. I feel there is also a wider public interest here as WW is often treated as a whipping boy by certain parties on this website whereas in fact he does very well the job he was elected to do ie representing his residents

  9. I’m not so sure it’s an anti-Wayne Whittle agenda, per se. It’s just that your fawning adoration of him is really quite hilarious.

  10. If you want to get on in this world, create a charity – They are all doing it. I’m after finding one in St Kitts:-)

    To obtain an award, one must be recommended by two people;
    or the Prime Minister can just ennoble you and send you to the house of Lords (Nod, nod, wink, wink.) Lord Archer and M/s Smith (Of video fame) being a fine examples.

  11. Robert Jones

    25.Jun.2013 6:35pm

    Honours can be a two-edged sword when they invite mockery: when the late Steve Ross was ennobled, a certain newspaper columnist, artfully but not entirely successfully disguised as Mole Man (in the Weekly Post; also late…) took to calling him Lord Vectis of the Pyle. As, so far as I recall, he lived in Quay Street, not Pyle Street, I found that confusing; but then I find most things confusing now, so it was good preparation for later senility…

    I’m in two minds about them: I suppose I ought to be ideologically opposed, but I can’t be bothered with all that these days; seems to me that it’s fair enough to just give a thank you to people who put themselves out for the rest of us; but I don’t really understand why every retired senior civil servant has to get his “K” or her Damery; or quite why a bicyclist, no matter how good he may be at cycling, should become a knight of the realm – though rather him than a banker..

    Maybe if we could simplify the whole thing and have just one, simple but distinguished award, like the French Legion d’Honneur, we could strip some of the flummery and Ruritanian references to an Empire we haven’t got any more out of the whole thing.

    Academic, though, so far as I’m concerned. I didn’t even get my Swimming Badge.

    • My personal view is that the UK Honours system as practised today is both CORRUPT(it has been demonstrated the major ones- peerages and knighthoods) can be bought) and CORRUPTING (promises of an awarding or withholding an honour being used to influence political and other decisions.)

      Giving people awards for just doing their jobs (e.g. business people, civil servants, sportspeople etc) seems inappropriate to me.

      This criticism does not apply to those worthy individuals who have performed valuable voluntary services to UK society and are awarded OBEs and CBEs as a result.
      Society needs such people.

      IMHO the Honours system should be scrapped as an anachronism and replaced with something like France’s Legion d’Honneur.

Add comment