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Cornwall paralympic swimmer hails New Year's Honours 'icing on cake'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 29, 2012

  • An MBE for Jonathan Fox, gold medal winning Paralympic swimmer

  • Carleen Kelemen, director of the Convergence Partnership Office, has been honoured with an OBE

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For Cornwall's Olympic heroes, recognition in the New Year's Honours has rounded off a truly golden 2012.

Four times Gold medal wining sailor Ben Ainslie, from Restronguet, near Truro, was knighted in recognition of his phenomenal contribution to his sport.

Jonathan Fox, gold medal winning paralympic swimmer, who is awarded an MBE, said he was rendered almost speechless by the news.

"It is the icing on the cake for a great year," said the 21-year-old, who hails from St Stephen, near St Austell.

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"It's not something I was expecting, so when I was told I just couldn't believe it."

His father, Eric, said he was immensely proud of his son: "It caps a great year."

Rower Helen Glover, from Penzance, who along with her partner won Team GB's first gold medal, said being awarded the MBE was "surreal".

She said: "We definitely feel truly privileged to be able to wake up every day and do the sport that we do, and to be honoured as well as privileged is incredible."

Carleen Keleman's award of an OBE also rounds off a landmark year in which the director of the Convergence Partnership also became a British citizen.

She described the honour as "humbling in every way" and added that she was unable to take in the contents of the letter in the first place.

"I had to have my husband read it back to me because I couldn't take it in.

"It is wonderful, absolutely wonderful, said Ms Keleman whose award is for services to social justice.

Jean Oates, from Portreath, was one of the many recognised for their astonishing contributions to their local community.

She was awarded an MBE after giving decades of her life to numerous organisation, including Meals on Wheels, the Samaritans, West Cornwall Cancer Friendship Group and Macmillan in Redruth.

"I only told my family yesterday and they were chuffed to bits," she said.

When stalwart RSPCA fundraiser Dorothy Fisher opened the envelope offering her a British Empire Medal (BEM), her first instinct was to refuse. The 84-year-old from Camborne, said: "I couldn't see what I had done to deserve it. I had always loved animals and loved working with the RSPCA."

For Janet Madron (pictured above) personal tragedy has only strengthened her resolve and dedication to the RNLI, a charity which is close to her family's heart.

Mrs Madron's husband, Stephen, was one of the eight crewmen from the Penlee lifeboat Solomon Browne who perished during a rescue in horrendous weather on December 19, 1981.

Under the chairmanship of the 64-year-old from Mousehole, the Penlee RNLI Ladies Guild has raised £375,000 since 2000 and helped her to a British Empire Medal.

Mrs Madron said: "I enjoy what I do and I don't think I'm doing anything different to what other people are doing."

Life behind the silver screen has led to David Williams, from Wadebridge, being honoured with an MBE.

The managing director of WTW Cinemas, which has branches in Truro, Newquay, St Austell and Wadebridge, won recognition for services to regional cinema.

"It's a bit overwhelming," said the 65-year-old, who joined the family business in 1966 and became its managing director in the 1970s.

"It came as a great surprise and I didn't see it coming."

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