New Year Honours for Islanders

New Year Honours for Islanders

Environmentalist Dave Cabeldu has been made an MBE ‘for services to the preservation of Jersey’s heritage and environment’.

And Eileen Smith has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to Parkinson’s Jersey.

Mr Cabeldu, the long-time co-ordinator of Save Our Shoreline (SOS), has worked to protect Jersey’s waters and coastline for over three decades. He told the JEP that being included on the list released by Buckingham Palace was a happy surprise.

‘I never thought we could get an award like this,’ he said, and he shared the recognition with his team at the charity.

‘It’s an organisation,’ he said. ‘We have got a helluva team. It’s changed over the years but we have always had a core of very dedicated people and I could not have done it without them.’

A former guitar teacher before turning his energies to conservation, Mr Cabeldu was educated at Victoria College and then attended art college in the UK.

He was also instrumental in the establishment of the St James Youth Centre, which grew out of a music workshop he founded, and is now a thriving rehearsal arts and music performance centre for young people.

Mr Cabeldu and his wife, Elaine, have lived in St Clement since 1981, and the couple have a daughter and an eight-year-old granddaughter.

He first took up the conservation cause in the late 1980s, when he campaigned to stop the bay at Havre de Pas being developed into a marina, collecting 10,000 signatures against the proposal.

SOS’s work helped pave the way to a 2005 agreement to designate the bay and much of the Island’s south-east coast as a Ramsar Wetland Area of International Importance.

The group has also campaigned against reclamation and to raise awareness about asbestos storage at La Collette.

Over the years SOS has had victories and losses, Mr Cabeldu said. ‘What we have done is try to highlight potential problems in advance,’ he said. ‘It’s a difficult one’.

Also recognised in the New Year Honours was Eileen Smith, who received a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services to Parkinson’s Jersey.

She become involved with the charity from its formation in 1989, as her late husband suffered from the progressive neurological disorder, and has acted as its chairwoman since 2004.

‘It was a shock,’ Mrs Smith said of receiving her medal. ‘It’s a privilege and I find it very humbling.’

She said Parkinson’s Jersey were ‘totally committed’ to trying to improve the quality of life of those affected by Parkinson’s and their carers.

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