Pembrokeshire people recognised in new year honours

First published in News

Pembrokeshire residents were once again honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in the New Year's Honours List.

Major Mark Welham of 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh, formerly of Hook, will receive an MBE, to the delight of his parents Bernard and Ann, who still live in the village.

Major Welham, 41, joined the army after university when he was 21, and was Company Commander at his last training visit to Castlemartin range, before a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2009.

Mrs Welham said they were very proud of their son's honour and were surprised when he told them the news.

"I think he must have done something special but he's very modest, so he either doesn't know or he's not saying," added Mrs Welham.

Christine Evans-Thomas, who raised £500,000 towards a cancer day care unit at Withybush hospital, received an MBE for her services to cancer patients.

After her son Adam died of leukaemia at the age of 35, having funded a new transplant unit at the Heath Hospital in Cardiff, and raised £9,000 for the Withybush Cancer Care Day Unit (CDU), Christine continued his work with the Bucketful of Hope appeal.

The charity now runs its own patient help centre in Haverfordwest.

She said: "It's an honour to have an MBE, especially because of the pleasure it gives others. It's really for them and it's for Adam. He was doing what he was doing for ten years, so it's lovely to have something to leave."

Christine will attend a ceremony at the palace to collect her award in March.

She added: "It will be a great day for me and for the family. But if anything, it's for Adam really. He started it all and without him we wouldn't be at this stage.

"If you told me 20 years ago that I would be fundraising for this long, I wouldn't have believed you. But it's fun, and I love the whole thing."

Dyfed-Powys Police chief constable Jackie Roberts received a Queen's Police Medal (QPM).

Ms Roberts made history for the the Dyfed-Powys Police force when she became the first ever female chief officer in June 2012, replacing the former chief constable Ian Arundale.

Chief Constable Roberts said: "I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded the QPM it really is an honour indeed. I have been privileged to have had a fantastic 29-year career in policing in Wales and Avon and Somerset and am looking forward to a few more years yet.

"It is lovely to get the recognition for all the hard work, effort and sacrifice along the way but I have to also thank all the staff who have worked so tirelessly alongside me for many years."

Shirley Williams, from Camrose, has received the British Empire Medal for services to music, the community in west Wales and charitable services.

"I found out in November I'd been nominated," she said. "I was thrilled to bits I couldn't believe it. I still can't believe it. I have no idea who nominated me; it's been very cloak and dagger."

Mrs Williams is well-known as the co-founder and musical director of the Landsker Singers, which now consists of two mixed junior choirs and a four part adult choir.

Born in Pembrokeshire Mrs Williams trained at Cardiff, now the Royal College of Music and Drama, and as a chorister, both with the Cardiff Polyphonic and the BBC Welsh Chorus, before returning to her home county.

She has performed as a soloist with many local and national choirs and has dedicated her time and energy to nurturing a love of music in both adults and young people in Pembrokeshire.

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