People from Haverhill, Clare and Stradishall get New Year’s honours

Les Ager has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to music in Haverhill.

Les Ager has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to music in Haverhill.

Four people will have their community contributions recognised in the New Year’s Honours List.

Les Ager will get the British Empire Medal for services to music in Haverhill, being involved with the town’s silver band since 1953 and conducting it for 30 years.

Keith Haisman, who spearheaded the campaign to get the country’s first free school in Clare, is getting the accolade for services to education.

Muriel Healey, board member of Havebury Housing Partnership, is being recognised for services to tenants.

Robert Clinton, from Stradishall, gets the gong for his work with the Veterans Aid charity.

In his time Les Ager has been mayor and deputy mayor of Haverhill, but it for his services to music in the town that he was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM).

Les, from Roman Way in Haverhill, conducted Haverhill Silver Band for 30 years, was musical director for 48 shows by the Centre Stage Company and did 35 years worth of Carols for All.

The 74-year-old said: “I consider it to be for the people that have supported me really, because a conductor on his own with nobody to conduct is nobody would be carted away by the men in white coats.

“It’s really for the support I’ve had from singers and musicians over the years.”

Keith Haisman received the BEM for services to education in Clare, where he also lives.

He was instrumental in the establishment of Stour Valley Community School, which opened in 2011 and in doing so became the first free school in the UK to gain Government approval.

Mr Haisman, 63, who is the chairman of the school’s governors, said: “When you are starting a school from scratch it’s important to have a team of people around you who are strong and cover all the different skills sets.

“If ever there was an award that was for a team effort this was the one.”

Muriel Healey, 92, from Elmdon Place, Haverhill, is getting the gong for services to tenants in Suffolk.

She is a board member for Havebury Housing Partnership.

“I was bowled over the get the award,” she said.

“It was a fantastic surprise as I never thought I’d get anything like it.”

Robert Clinton, 71, from Stradishall, gets a BEM for services to the Veterans Aid charity.

He helped turn the charity, which cares for ex-service personnel, from a relatively unknown organisation into one of the most important of its kind.

He helped to modernise the charity and improve fund-raising, leading to it receiving a European Business Award for business transformation.

He said: “I was surprised and delighted and particularly pleased for the charity.”

For all the latest news see today’s (Thursday, January 3) Echo.




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