Richard Holste’s MBE

Richard Holste MBE
Richard Holste MBE

An Old Town resident was at Buckingham Palace last week to receive his MBE from the Queen.

The 69-year-old, known as Dick, was appointed a Member of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and on Wednesday last week (October 30) Mr Holste, his sister-in-law, niece and nephew, travelled up to London for the special ceremony.

Mr Holste, of Clifford Avenue, who for 25 years had been governor at Sussex Downs College and was also chairman for the last seven years, received the Member of the British Empire for services to Further Education.

He retired from the college at the end of August but is still a governor at Bishop Bell School and Eastbourne Academy and heavily involved in community groups, as he is also financial director at Willingdon Golf Club, chairman of Willingdon Cricket Club and director of Sussex County Cricket Club.

He said of finding out he had been awarded the MBE back in summer, “I was surprised and it came as a bit of a shock.

“You get a letter six weeks before it’s announced and you have to keep absolutely quiet about it.”

Mr Holste wore a morning suit for the special occasion, which also saw a handful of people knighted, and actor Rowan Atkinson awarded a CBE. In total the Old Town resident said 88 people were honoured.

Of the day itself, which was blessed with good weather, he said, “I was a bit nervous. We stayed in a hotel in London the night before.

“When we got there your guests are taken into the great room and you are taken for refreshments and told what you need to do.

“There was a big screen so you could see everything going on.”

When it was his turn in line Mr Holste bowed and Her Majesty the Queen then placed the medal on him before asking him to tell her more about him and shaking his hand.

He said of the day, “It was wonderful and fantastic. The Queen was wearing white and absolutely charming.”

After the event the Old Town resident enjoyed lunch at the Ritz with his family and returned home to celebrate in the evening.

There were several other residents in Eastbourne and the surrounding area that were also recognised for their dedication and were highlighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

They included Ann Ward, a family support worker in Eastbourne who also received an MBE, Philip Ayres, the chief executive of Cuckmere Community Buses and Anne Bickmore, the founder of the abc fund who were both awarded a British Empire Medal.

Other Sussex residents who were also on the list include Professor Subrata Sekhar Banerjee, professor of mental health and ageing, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex, for services to People with Dementia and Judith Barnes from West Sussex, foster carer and adoptive parent, for services to children.

To read a list of all the people who are in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list go to the link: https://www.gov.uk/honours/honours-lists