Proud day as ex-school pals share Martin’s date with the Queen

Pictured from left to right are Heather Jan Brunt, Dr Martin Green OBE, Oonagh Rowles and Michael Rowles.
Pictured from left to right are Heather Jan Brunt, Dr Martin Green OBE, Oonagh Rowles and Michael Rowles.

MEMORIES of happy schooldays prompted Dr Martin Green to invite three of his Morpeth school friends when he attended his investiture at Buckingham Palace.

Dr Green, 53, who is the Chief Executive of the English Community Care Association (ECCA) in London, received the Order of the British Empire for his services to social care.

His visit to the Palace earlier this month was made extra special by the presence of his friends Michael Rowles, Oonagh Rowles (nee Ivory) and Heather Jan Brunt (nee Nesbit).

Dr Green said: “I was so happy when I was at school and living in Morpeth, and I wanted my friends from school to be with me on this important occasion.

“We have always kept in touch and see each other as much as we can.

“We had a fantastic, very relaxed day, thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Buckingham Palace and then went for a good lunch at The Sofitel Hotel in St James afterwards.”

The investiture was held in the ballroom of Buckingham Palace, where 78 people received their awards from the Queen.

Among the recipients was actress Jean Marsh, who co-wrote and starred in the popular Edwardian drama series Upstairs Downstairs which was originally shown in the 70s when Dr Green was a pupil at King Edward VI High School.

Dr Green said: “I spoke to her and told her I was a great fan of Upstairs Downstairs.

“In fact I’d been watching a repeat of one of the episodes on ITV3 in my apartment during the morning when I was getting ready for the investiture.”

In addition to his role as CEO of the ECCA, Dr Green is an independent sector advisor on dementia to the Department of Health.

He regularly meets Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss how the care and understanding of dementia patients can be improved in society and he was recently invited to lunch with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House to talk about similar issues.

The Queen, who wore a powder blue dress during the investiture, spoke to each recipient as they were presented to her.

Dr Green said: “I was so very honoured.

“She asked how long I had been working in social care and thanked me for the work that I was doing within the field of dementia.”