Nine British residents in Spain honoured in Queen’s New Year Honours List, including one in the Canaries

The FCO has confirmed that nine British residents in Spain, including one in the Canaries, have been honoured by the Queen in the New Year Honours List 2020. They are:

  • MBE for services to British Nationals Overseas – Mark Petrie, Honorary Consul, Denia, Spain.
  • MBE for services to British Nationals Overseas – Dr Charles Betty, Charity and Community Worker in Spain; retired.
  • MBE for services to British business in Spain – Christopher Mark Dottie, President, British Chamber of Commerce, Spain.
  • British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to British Nationals Overseas – Christine (Krista) Ann Hyer, President, Cancer support Group, Mallorca.
  • BEM for services to charity – Brian Thomas McLeod, Entertainer, Spain.
  • BEM for services to British Nationals Overseas – Betty Burgess, volunteer, Las Palmas, Spain.
  • BEM for services to British Nationals Overseas – Maureen Payne, President, Age Concern, Costa Blanca Sur, Alicante, Spain.
  • BEM for services to British Nationals Overseas – Sheila Stuart, Chairperson, British Ladies Association, Madrid, Spain.
  • BEM for services to British Nationals Overseas – Veronica Wheeler, President, British Benevolent Association of Girona, Spain.

The Las Palmas-based winner of the British Empire Medal for services to British Nationals Overseas, Betty Burgess, has dedicated more than 50 years of her life to the British community in Gran Canaria after moving there in the late 1960s. Her work has included promoting the great historical, social and economic impact of British settlers to the island; working tirelessly to maintain a British presence through her work with the British Club of Las Palmas, the Holy Trinity Anglican Church and the British Cemetery; and supporting the most vulnerable British nationals through voluntary work.

British Ambassador to Spain Hugh Elliott said:

It is extraordinary to see nine British nationals awarded at the same time – a real testament to the depth and diversity of the UK-Spain relationship and to the contribution that so many British nationals make to their communities across Spain. Betty first worked at the Consulate in Las Palmas in 1974 and her support for the vulnerable has continued from then, including providing help for some of our most in-need customers. She is a much-respected and much-loved member of the local community and this award, coinciding with her 80th birthday, is well deserved.

Betty Burgess said:

Whatever I have been able to do to help British residents or visitors who may find themselves in an unfamiliar, worrying or special situation in Gran Canaria, I have done with pleasure and with no thought of any type of recognition. So I am astonished and delighted to be awarded the British Empire Medal and that my small efforts have been considered worthy of such an honour.

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