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Saturday, 30 August 2014

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Mayor earns MBE

Ron Munby

YEARS of community service by Keswick mayor Ron Munby have been recognised with the award of the MBE for community service in the Queen’s New Year Honours.

Mr Munby, 67, who lives at Isel Hall, near Cockermouth, said this week that he had heard in November that he had been nominated, but had to keep the news secret until the official announcement last week.

He said: “It was an absolute shock - but it was a lovely shock!”

Originally from Ormskirk in Lancashire, Mr Munby grew up in Bolton when his father’s career with Ribble buses meant a family move there, and he is an avid Bolton Wanderers fan.

Mr Munby joined the army when he left school, ending up in the military police.

He worked in security in the Horse Guards and Buckingham Palace areas before moving into retail, and eventually became interested in tourism and set up his own training company. He moved up to Cumbria more than 20 years ago and initially offered training to staff at Keswick’s George Fisher outdoor clothing store before expanding throughout the county and outside.

After taking early retirement, he did some lecturing before moving on to voluntary work.

Mr Munby is deputy mayor of Allerdale and is expected to take over as mayor in May.

He is chairman of Age Concern North West Cumbria and of the organisation’s county branch as well as being a member of Bassenthwaite Rotary Club, a governor of St Herbert’s School, a founder of Keswick Lions and a member of the management group of the Keswick Alzheimer’s Society group.

He is also a former president of Keswick Old Folks’ Circle and a former chairman of the BBC’s Cumbria and regional advisory councils as well as being a member of the national body.

Mr Munby has also been involved with the Keswick Jazz Festival since its inception and is responsible for organising the hundreds of stewards at the popular annual event.

He has also been involved in staging the town’s VJ and VE commemoration events, and is involved in organising the North West Regional Assembly’s annual meeting, which will be held at the Theatre by the Lake in July.

Mr Munby and his wife Helen, who is headteacher at St Bridget’s School in Brigham, have three grown-up children.

The MBE also went to retired police officer Terry O’Connell, who has run the West Cumbria Attendance Centre in Workington for 20 years, holding sessions for 13 to 18-year-olds who have been sent there by the youth courts.

Mr O’Connell, 57, who lives in Whitehaven, received his nomination for services to youth justice and the community.

He said: “The MBE is an astonishing pleasure - it’s so unreal."

Who locally deserves an Honour?

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