I first met Jackie Codd, who was awarded the Empire Medal yesterday by HM Queen Elizabeth, when I joined the Bulletin 30 years ago. She was part of the paper's advertising team and a real key player. She was like the rock of Gibraltar, nothing was ever a problem. Jackie has a commanding personality and she was always telling me to tuck my shirt in when I was a junior reporter and would despair at the state of my desk. In those days the Bulletin was in San Felio and she would join the editorial team for lunch every Thursday. I must admit back in those days I was slightly frightened of her.

Fast forward 30 years (my shirt continues to have the knack of being out and I am not frightened of Jackie, well not as much as I was) and on Thursday night she called me at the office to say she was having a party but couldn't tell me why. Jackie had been sworn to secrecy and was not saying a word. Yesterday morning I received a text from our Consul General, Lloyd Milen, confirming that Jackie would be receiving an award from the Queen for all her hard work for the British community.

Jackie is that sort of person who represents the very best of Britain. I can imagine her in any scenario in history taking the leading role and solving problems and getting people home. No problem is too big to solve should be her motto. I was very pleased that her hard work has been recognised, because she has done a fantastic job for Age Concern. So Jackie Codd Moore many congratulations, I would never have thought 30 years go that I would be writing a Viewpoint on your receiving a royal medal.