THEY are the pride of our area – and now top teachers, fundraisers and navy officers have been given gongs to match their tireless efforts.
Hard-working leaders in their fields were stunned when they found out they had been named in the Queen’s New Year Honours.
Praise has poured in to support those who have won accolades for championing charities, teaching youngsters and keeping the country safe.
Among them is headteacher Alison Beane, whose work with children who have special needs has won her colleagues’ admiration.
Now Mrs Beane is set to be honoured with an OBE – albeit to her surprise when she got the letter through her door.
She is executive headteacher of three academies in Portsmouth: Mary Rose, Cliffdale Primary and Redwood Park.
After 30 years of specialising in teaching children with special educational needs – 11 of those in Portsmouth – Mrs Beane was amazed to learn she is set to be honoured.
Speaking to The News, Mrs Beane said: ‘It did take me very much by surprise when I received the letter about three weeks ago.
‘I was thrilled. For me it was great that the people who have been involved in nominating me appreciate the work we’ve been doing together.’
The mother-of-three went into teaching children with special educational needs after her daughter Sarah Beane, who is 35 and has Down’s Syndrome, started school.
Mrs Beane added: ‘When I first went into special education I was appalled because I felt that the focus was all on care and less on the learning.
‘They are children first who happen to have special education needs, and all have the rights a child has to a really great education.’
She added: ‘It’s showing everybody that they’ve got a part to play and that they’ve got something to offer.’
Poignantly the gong comes at the 10-year anniversary of Mary Rose school, which has been judged as outstanding in two successive Ofsted reports.
Mrs Beane’s honour is for services to education.
‘Getting this award in this particular year is great in terms of timing,’ she said.
Mrs Beane, 64, of Freshwater, Isle of Wight, said she has no plans for retirement yet.
‘I keep putting it off – I have decided that when I feel I can’t give any more that will be the time,’ she said and added: ‘I love what I do.’
Mrs Beane started at Mary Rose in 2005 where she oversaw the fitting out of the school and recruitment of staff before it opened.
Another top educator named in the honours list is Steve Frampton, principal of Portsmouth College.
Mr Frampton, 58, of Gosport, is set to pick up an MBE for services to education. He said: ‘I am obviously very proud, and accept this on behalf of all my brilliant staff and students and governors.
‘It’s a huge honour for me, our college, and the city.
‘I’m very, very proud and would like to thank those who supported me, my family, and my team of brilliant students and staff, governors and city partners.’ Councillor Neill Young, cabinet member for education at Portsmouth City Council, said both Mrs Beane and Mr Frampton are outstanding.
He said: ‘We have some excellent heads in this city who have done a huge amount of excellent work and particularly Alison Beane, who has supported our special educational needs provision across the city and done a huge amount of work to improve the education for young people with special needs.
‘In Steve Frampton we’ve got a college that is doing phenomenally well and supporting people to have the best possible start.’
Bookbinder Maureen Duke, who qualified in 1948, is to receive a British Empire Medal for services to the craft.
The 88-year-old, of Petersfield, has bound presentation volumes that Portsmouth City Council presented to Princess Diana in 1991, the Queen Mother in 2000 and the Queen on her 80th birthday.
Speaking to The News, Maureen said: ‘I was gobsmacked when I found out.
‘I’ve done a lot of work for Portsmouth City Council, they’ve commissioned most of the work I’ve done for royalty.’
Maureen, who has since retired from taking commissions but is still bookbinding, added carrying out the work for royalty was an honour.
‘It’s a great honour and concentrates the mind with the craftmanship, it allows one to use one’s skills, for which I’m grateful.’
But she added working on commissions for royalty has never posed a difficulty.
‘You do the best you can,’ she said.
SERVING their country at sea and on land has won navy staff top gongs.
Senior officers in the Royal Navy were among those named in the New Year Honours list.
Commodore Inga Jane Kennedy, Inspector General of the Defence Medical Services, is one of the most senior female officer in the navy.
Cdre Kennedy, who lives in Fareham, is set to receive a CBE.
She said: ‘I feel shocked and quite emotional to have been given this honour, it’s not something I ever thought I would receive.
‘It came completely out of the blue but I feel humbled and privileged to receive it, particularly as I was a reasonably late entry to the Royal Navy.
‘I was a reservist for a long time, then I did two years of reserve service and then came in full time, and that was only 16 years ago.
‘My family are all absolutely thrilled for me and I’m not even sure it has sunk in for me yet but I am certainly looking forward to collecting the honour next year.’
Cdre Kennedy leads the military equivalent of what the Care Quality Commission does for the NHS, inspecting medical services across the armed forces.
She is receiving the award for her utmost professionalism and the work she has done to improve the Defence Medical Services.
Captain Simon Richard Petitt, Royal Navy, has been made an OBE.
Cpt Petitt was Senior Naval Officer of aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. He handed over to Cpt Jerry Kyd, the first sea captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth in May.
The navy’s largest-ever ship is set to arrive in Portsmouth in 2017.
Cpt Petitt, now chief engineer of the Portsmouth flotilla, said: ‘I feel humbled and honoured to receive this award. It was a hugely proud moment for me to become the senior naval officer on board HMS Queen Elizabeth in the first place and this is just the icing on the cake.’
He added: ‘My time on board HMS Queen Elizabeth was incredible and, like everybody who has been working on this ship in its earliest days, I will have an attachment to that ship that will last a lifetime.’
Kevin Shaw, senior executive officer at the Ministry of Defence in Fareham is to receive an MBE for services to the Royal Navy.
The man leading the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity is also set to be honoured with an OBE for services to naval personnel.
Robert Robson took up the chief executive role in 2008 after serving in the Royal Navy as a warfare officer in the 1980s.
Mr Robson, a former banker, also serves as a member of the finance committee for the Mary Rose Trust.
His charity fundraises for marines and sailors.
DEDICATED volunteer Mary Ramsay said making other people’s lives better is what she lives for.
The 73-year-old will receive a British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours for her services to the Portsmouth community.
Mary, who lives in Farlington, has given 22 years of her life to children’s hospice Naomi House, while she also worked as a civil servant for the Department of Work and Pensions.
Up until April this year when she retired, Mary worked at Cosham Job Centre.
On being named for the BEM, she said: ‘I was totally shocked.
‘I never expected it and it was really overwhelming.
‘I was excited, though, when I was told. When I told my son he was so excited and proud of me.’
Mary added: ‘As well as helping out at Naomi House, I also did fundraisers in my job. I organised and motivated staff to make their lives easier.
‘I loved going to work and I felt I could give something back and make people’s lives brighter. That’s what it was all about for me.
‘My motto is doing what I think is right at the time and doing my best.’
Mary first started volunteering for Naomi House when it was just an idea.
She joined its first charity shop with her friends and in the opening weeks, raised thousands of pounds to help get the hospice in Winchester built.
Since then, she has volunteered in its charity shops and organised events, too.
Every year she also organises the Light up a Life vigil at Holy Trinity Church, in Fareham.
Held in December, the service is for families to remember people no longer with them and also raise cash in aid of Naomi house and Jacksplace.
Elsewhere, Hampshire’s Anne Sharp is due to be given a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).
She is the chief executive of the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas). Ms Sharp will receive the honour for her services to workplace relations. She became chief executive of Acas in 2013 after spending four years as chief executive of the Judicial Office, supporting judges and magistrates.