Olympic rower among our New Year Honours list

Team GB rower Scott Durant at the Lancaster Christmas Light switch-on last month.
Team GB rower Scott Durant at the Lancaster Christmas Light switch-on last month.
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Former Lancaster Royal Grammar School pupil and Olympic gold medallist Scott Durant is among Lancastrians to be awarded in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Durant, 28 and from Halton, enjoyed an Olympic debut to remember at Rio 2016 as he won gold in the Men’s Eight.

The ex-LRGS pupil has been appointed an MBE for services to rowing, having been recognised alongside every gold medallist from last summer’s Olympics.

Announcing the news on Twitter, Durant posted: “Proud end to a great #2016 #honourslist”.

Durant also won gold in the 2015 European Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland.

He started his rowing career at Lancaster Royal Grammar School in 2001, and was also a member of the John O’Gaunt Rowing Club.

Meanwhile, Lunesdale Rotarian Duncan Hamlett was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to charity.

Mr Hamlett became the chairman of the international committee of the Rotary Club of Lunesdale in 2011.

His first project raised more than £20,000 for children in a remote village near Everest.

Mr Hamlett is also a volunteer and area representative for the charity Mary’s Meals.

The charity was created in Scotland more than a decade ago with the double aim to educate and feed impoverished children wherever they are in the world.

Today the charity provides meals in places of education to 750,000 children every day in 16 countries.

In 2013, Mr Hamlett was one of only seven people chosen from 10,500 from the UK and abroad to receive the prestigious Royal Patron’s Award from The Abbeyfield Society.

Mr Hamlett has been associated with the charity in Kirkby Lonsdale for more than 20 years.

He has been a trustee for more than 10 years with responsibility for maintenance. He has used his professional skills from the building industry to improve and modernise buildings.

By introducing innovative projects to increase the number of flats for residents and up-grading live-in accommodation he has increased revenue for the charity.

His huge input has enhanced the lives of both residents and staff. He has generously shared his expertise in novel maintenance systems to the benefit of other Abbeyfield societies.

Others with a link to our local area to be honoured were Major Simon David Whitaker from The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (MBE) and Eileona Mary Wilkinson, from the independent monitoring board at HM Prison Lancaster Farms, was also given an MBE for services to prisons and HM Prison Service.