Councillor defies tradition to receive MBE in ‘community where he belongs’

Richard Stevens presented with his MBE. Photo by Sid Saunders SUS-171017-093408001
Richard Stevens presented with his MBE. Photo by Sid Saunders SUS-171017-093408001

A Hastings councillor defied tradition to receive his MBE at the Fishermen’s Museum.

Richard Stevens decided not to follow the norm and receive the prestigious medal at Buckingham Palace. Instead, a service was held in the Old Town on October 13.

Richard Stevens MBE. Photo by Sid Saunders. SUS-171017-093357001

Richard Stevens MBE. Photo by Sid Saunders. SUS-171017-093357001

Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant Peter Field presented Richard with his MBE for services to Hastings.

Also in attendance were the Deputy Lieutenant Michael Foster and Hastings mayor Cllr. Judy Rogers.

Father Ronald Partridge, Assistant Priest for the Old Town, gave the Blessing.

The ceremony took place aboard the Sailing Lugger, ‘The Enterprise’ which provides the centrepiece for the Fishermen’s Museum itself.

Richard Stevens receiving his MBE. Photo by Sid Saunders. SUS-171017-115834001

Richard Stevens receiving his MBE. Photo by Sid Saunders. SUS-171017-115834001

Former Hastings mayor on three occasions, 30 years a councillor and past chairman of East Sussex County Council, Richard is best known for his variety of charity work both within Hastings and overseas. He described the MBE as a ‘Merit Beyond Expectation’.

Speaking of the decision to have the award ceremony locally, Richard said: “I was made a member of the Winkle Club on board The Enterprise in the Fishermen’s Museum and it was also here that my wife and I received our wedding blessing, so it seemed appropriate all round to have my investiture in the heart of the community where I belong.

“I am most grateful to Her Majesty The Queen and to the museum staff for graciously permitting this to happen.”

MBE is a Member of the Order of the British Empire.