Top honour for SAIF member

Martin Rowley

SAIF is delighted to report that Martin Rowley, of Rowley and Sons Family Funeral Services in York, has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM).

Martin achieved the honour for services to the community in York – these include being school governor for 27 years (some of this before he settled in York) and for working on several local and national charity boards.

“The Cabinet Office phoned me at the beginning of December,” explains Martin. “They told me I had been awarded the honour, so I’ve had some time to let it sink in. I told my wife Elizabeth straight away and then had to keep quiet about it until I let my children know at Christmas, just before the list was announced.”

Since then, the local press and radio stations have been finding out more about Martin, who says he feels “very, very honoured” to have received the BEM, which is awarded for meritorious civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown.

“I guess if I was in charge, I would think of lots of people more worthy who would be in front of me in the list,” says Martin modestly.

“My friend and financial adviser nominated me after a conversation we had couple of years ago about me reaching 25 years as a school governor. Little did I know it, but that was the catalyst and it takes 18 months to two years once the nomination has been made.”

Martin, who is also a City of York councillor, says public service “runs through him” and encourages others to nominate unsung heroes in their own communities.

“It’s actually a simple process to be considered for the Queen’s honours lists on her birthday or at new year – there’s a nomination form online and it’s simple to fill in. Then you need a few supporters to add weight to it and you’re off.”

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