By Jason Moore
IT was fantastic to see the great turn-out from the local authorities when British Vice Consul Esteban Mas was presented with his MBE by the British ambassador Stephen Wright on Thursday night in Palma. The guest list read like a Who's Who of people in power in the Balearics. It clearly underlines the real importance that the local authorities give the British Consulate and its staff. Just three weeks ago, Esteban Mas, was presented with another award from the Guardia Civil in Palma Nova, in recognition of his hard-work and co-operation in helping the Guardia deal with situations which may arise from the fact that one million British tourists holiday in the area. But further evidence about the state of the British community was apparent in the guest-list; Esteban was not alone in having the MBE. Also, attending was Julie Arnold-Boakes and Robert Winsor who were both awarded the MBE in the Honour's List this year. The British Vice Consuls in Ibiza and Minorca have also been awarded the MBE for their services to the communities of both islands. There are two clear indicators here; that we are lucky to live in a place where so many people are prepared to work to help others and that their efforts do not go unrewarded. The Balearics may be a small place even in Spain but I suspect that there are not many communities with an expatriate population of 30'000 people which have so many awards and medals from Buckingham palace. There are some who wish to change the honours system, I don't think it is a very good idea. I spoke to three recipients of the MBE this year and they all said it was one of the proudest moments of their lives.

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