A life of service to Pagham has been rewarded with an honour from the Queen.
Ray Radmall, chairman of Pagham Parish Council for 12 years, received the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Mrs Susan Pyper, Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex, invested him with his medal at a ceremony at Pagham Village Hall on Monday.
She said: “To my mind, this is just about the most special medal there is. We have our own little celebration for Ray with all his community and friends to share his special day with him.
“This is an extraordinarily special award and richly deserved.”
The citation said Mr Radmall had spent much of his life dedicated to the community of Pagham and that he had been tremendously popular and successful in his role as chairman of the parish council.
“He has led and championed nearby projects such as the children’s playground, carrying out much of the site preparation and landscaping work himself without charge,” it stated.
“During his time as chair of the parish council, he has borne the brunt of a number of challenges facing the village, including the River Lavant Flood Relief Scheme, the preparation of the Pagham Neighbourhood Plan and more seriously, the threat to Pagham’s beachfront properties as a result of coastal erosion.
“All three challenges have demanded huge amounts of research, gaining a detailed understanding of planning law and policy, technical aspects of engineering consultants’ advice and the ability to communicate and negotiate with MPs, ministers, national and local government officials and inspectors.
“As chairman of Pagham Flood Defence Steering Group, he has led efforts to find a viable solution to this problem.
“Mr Radmalll has demonstrated selfless perseverance and goodwill in his work for the community. He has been involved in many aspects of village life, including the planting of daffodil bulbs in the highway verges, acting as tree warden for the village, chairman of the Beach Residents’ Association and Pagham Village Hall Trust and much more.
“He has totally absorbed himself in his love for Pagham and does all he can for the good of his community.”
Mr Radmall said he felt deeply honoured and hugely privileged to be invested with ‘this beautiful medal’.
He paid tribute to parish councillors and other volunteers in the village, many of whom were in the audience.
“There have been people who have risen up to the challenges and they have put their heart and soul into working for our community,” he added.
“All those people who have done their work for us in the past and now, I stand on their shoulders. It just so happens that I am here at this particular time.
“I applaud the caring nature of the Pagham community. This is for you as well as me. I am trying to follow in the footsteps of the people who have gone before me.”