The British Embassy in Madrid has announced that two British residents in Spain have been honoured by the Queen in the New Year Honours List 2017. Liz Parry, former Editor of SUR in English, an English-language newspaper in Southern Spain, and resident in the province of Malaga, has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services to British nationals living in Andalusia, while Roger Cooke, latterly President of the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain and resident in Madrid, has been appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to British business in Spain and British-Spanish trade and investment.
The Embassy explained that Honours lists are published twice a year, in June on the Queen’s official birthday and at New Year, and recognise extraordinary achievement and service to the UK. Following a nomination process, an honours committee reviews all the submitted nominations. The Queen then awards the honour. In the cases of Ms Parry and Mr Cooke, their outstanding achievements ensured they stood out amongst the many nominations received for this year’s New Year Honours list.
Having joined the SUR in English team in 1985 as a collaborator/translator, during her 30 years of service Liz Parry rose through the ranks at the paper, first to Assistant Editor in 1997 and then soon after to Editor. When SUR in English was launched in July 1984, there was no or little reliable information available to British nationals resident in Spain in English. Under Liz’s command, the paper has grown from 3000 copies and 24 pages to 150,000 copies and an average of 72 pages. It subsequently plays an important role in helping British nationals to integrate into Spanish society and avoid some of the potential problems that moving to another country might present.
An active member of the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) in Spain since 1992, Roger Cooke took on the non-remunerated post of President in April 2012, at the height of the economic crisis. During his Presidency, Roger not only ensured the stability of the operation but revitalised the institution, dedicating a significant amount of his personal time to build stronger relationships with external partners, such as the Spanish government and major British companies operating in Spain. Having stepped down as President of the BCC earlier this year, Roger remains committed to promoting relations between the UK and Spain. He is an active member of the British Hispanic Foundation, an organisation which promotes cultural links between the two countries, and a strong supporter of the British Benevolent Fund, a British charity which supports British nationals in need in Spain.
British Ambassador to Spain, Simon Manley, said “I am delighted that the achievements of Liz Parry and Roger Cooke have been recognised by Her Majesty The Queen in this way, whether it be Liz through her distinguished journalism and consistent promotion of Britons’ integration into Spanish society, or Roger and his leadership of the British Chamber, our principal partner in strengthening a €46 billion bilateral commercial relationship”
Both Liz Parry and Roger Cooke reacted with delight to their Honours. Liz Parry said she was “proud to have been awarded this medal for service to British residents in our international community! It came as a complete surprise and I don’t know who nominated me, but I would like them to know that I am honoured and grateful”. Roger Cooke expressed surprise at the award and said that he was delighted “that a contribution to Anglo-Spanish trade has been recognised at a time when this is so important to both countries’ economic wealth and to their citizens. As always there is a team effort behind this success and it would not have been achieved without the great support of the team at the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain.”