Dunchurch MBE man 'overwhelmed' by day at Buck Palace - The Rugby Observer

Dunchurch MBE man 'overwhelmed' by day at Buck Palace

Rugby Editorial 26th Mar, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

OVERWHELMING – that was how a Dunchurch impresario described his day at Buckingham Palace when he received his MBE from Her Majesty the Queen.

Mike Judge’s day in the spotlight was made even more memorable thanks to encounters with two national heroes – and an unlikely reunion with a face from his past who was working as Yeoman of the Guard.

The 75-year-old, a founder member and director of Dunchurch Players who organises annual events as part of Dunchurch Festival Group, was cited in the New Years Honours List “for services to charity and the community in Dunchurch” and for raising over £30,000 for local good causes over the last 15 years.

He said: “The whole day was quite overwhelming, but I felt remarkably calm.”

And he said it was humbling to meet Simon Weston, a veteran of the British Army who suffered severe burns during the Falklands War, who received a CBE for his charity work.

“It was the kind of day where, if you see somebody wearing a medal, you congratulate them,” Mike said. “So I congratulated Simon, and he said ‘congratulations to you too’. We didn’t know each other; we’d never met, but it was that kind of a day. It was a real thrill.”

Also being honoured that day was Pauline Cafferkey, a nurse who contracted ebola while working in Sierra Leone.

“She’d only come out of hospital two days previously,” said Mike. “She still didn’t look very well, and you think, she’s put her life on the line. You just feel very humbled when you’re alongside people like this.”

And he was astonished to discover the Yeoman of the Guard on duty that day was from Heckmondwike – the same small Yorkshire village where he grew up.

“It was amazing,” he said. “We chatted to each other and discovered we used to live 50 yards apart.

“He played in the ruins of our old house after we moved out. What are the chances of meeting someone in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, 50 years later, who came from your village?!”

He added he felt lucky to be honoured for voluntary work that he does purely for pleasure.

“To get an award was amazing; for the Queen to make that presentation and to meet the people that I met is almost overwhelming,” he said.

“It’s very difficult to put into words. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience which will never be repeated. And to have my wife, daughter and elder brother with me was outstanding.”


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