Canon Jim Hawthorne was unusually lost for words yesterday as news reached him that he had been honoured with an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, announced yesterday. Canon Jim, who was the chaplain at the Anglican Church of St Philip and St James in Palma for 11 years, said yesterday that he was gobsmacked. The first I knew was when I received a telephone call from the British Consul Alan Smith to congratulate me. Have you read the Times', I was asked. Read what?* I replied. Canon Jim admitted that he had had no idea.
I thought you normally received a letter informing you of the honour and asking you to keep it a secret until the honours list is published... perhaps it's the Spanish post..., he said. It's unbelievable, it's completely bowled me over...I gather that normally the Church puts names forward, but in this case it has been the British community on the island. Indeed, Canon Jim has been made a Member of the British Empire for services in the community in Palma de Mallorca. However, Canon Jim has dedicated the honour to the British community and the organisations who have helped him over the years. This has only been possible because of a group of organisations and a whole list of individuals on the island, it's a wonderful island with wonderful back up, he said, adding they all deserve this honour more than I and I would again like to thank the British community on the island. Canon Jim, who retired in April, says he is thoroughly enjoying life doing very little. He is still on the island, taking life easy at his Magalluf apartment overlooking the sea, and joked that if he had realised just how wonderful life is doing nothing, I would have chosen this life in the first place. However, had he done so, the British community in Majorca, his congregation and the hundreds of British tourists he helped during his eleven years in Palma would have seriously missed out on Canon Jim's services and friendship.