It’s easy to carp and belittle this country’s honours system. And no doubt there will be plenty of folk today eager to have a go at the legions of faceless civil servants and penpushers awarded gongs simply for doing the job for which they are or have been well paid.
But then there are the people like Shirley and David Metherell and Detective Chief Inspector Linda Dawson, people for whom the twice-yearly honours list is surely designed.
They, along with all the others highlighted in The News today, truly deserve to be recognised by their peers.
For they have devoted years of their lives to making society just that little bit more caring.
Mr and Mrs Metherell have almost become household names in Portsmouth and the surrounding area for their devoted work with very young deaf children.
Most of you will have heard of the Elizabeth Foundation, based at Cosham, close to Queen Alexandra Hospital.
When their daughter Elizabeth’s impaired hearing was not diagnosed until she was 22 months old, they did not simply sit back and bemoan their lot, they decided something needed to be done.
So they established the foundation and the charity is now the largest single provider of education services for pre-school deaf children in the UK.
Today they are made MBEs in the New Year Honours list and we can think of no-one more worthy of such recognition.
Unless, of course it’s Det Chief Insp Dawson.
She too has been made an MBE for her pioneering work analysing the behaviour of stalkers.
She has been so painstakingly thorough that her work has led to a change in the law on stalking offences.
It’s almost 21 years since she took up the case of Tracey Morgan, who endured years of terror at the hands of stalker Anthony Burstow. It led to him being jailed and, after the hard-hitting Stop the Stalker campaign in The News, to the law being changed.
These are just two examples, but there are myriad others of highly-deserving honours recipients and today we salute them all.