Suffolk Honours: Mike Ames is awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the community in the town

A WELL-KNOWN figure in Bury St Edmunds has said he is “humbled” to receive a British Empire Medal for services to his community.

Mike Ames, 75, and who has lived in the town for around 50 years, was awarded the honour for services to the community in Bury St Edmunds.

He taught in four schools there for 40 years - St Edmund’s, Moreton Hall Prep School, Silver Jubilee Boys School which is now King Edward VI School, and finishing his teaching career at St Louis.

But after retiring he stayed involved with education. He was a governor and chair of governors at St Edmund’s and is currently chair of governors at Guildhall Feoffment Community Primary School.

Mr Ames was chairman of Bury in Bloom - a Bury Society campaign which promotes a cleaner, greener and more beautiful Bury St Edmunds - for 25 years, and is still on the committee, and is also on the committee of the Bury Society, which seeks to protect the town’s heritage.

He was an independent councillor for the Abbeygate ward for 16 years and was borough mayor from 1997 to 1998 and town mayor from 2005 to 2006.

The father-of-three and grandfather-of-four, who has been married to Monica for 52 years, said: “It’s quite unexpected. It’s an honour and I’m happy, but when I read the citation I’m humbled because it’s for the services in the community in Bury St Edmunds.

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“Not just any old community, but Bury St Edmunds, and that’s very special.”

Mr Ames, who is currently chairman of governors at Guildhall Feoffment, added: “I’m the recipient, but really it goes to those people who I have worked with and whom I’m still associated with.”

Mr Ames is also chairman of the board of trustees of Just Traid, which sells Fair Trade goods and has a Fair Trade cafe in the St John’s Centre, St John’s Street, he is a trustee at the Gatehouse charity, which helps vulnerable and disadvantaged people, and is chairman of Victory Sports Ground Ltd.

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