Over decades of involvement in a vast array of community projects, Roy Bisson has helped change the lives of thousands and his efforts have been recognised with a BEM in the New Year Honours list.
“I am most honoured to receive this award which, I understand, reflects the appreciation of a number of islanders,” he said.
“In reality this cannot be just for me but must include all who have volunteered to assist me in the many projects I have enjoyed undertaking - plus of course all those I have bludgeoned into helping too.
“I have indeed been fortunate in being able to have lead a most enjoyable and creative life and I include my two sons, their wives and my grandchildren. Thank you Guernsey for this recognition.”
Mr Bisson has been a member of the Guernsey Round Table/41 Club since the 1960s, in that time being a key organiser of the Club's annual Christmas Fayre.
Pictured: The 2022 Swimarathon.
Since 1980 he has been part of the Guernsey Swimarathon organising committee and served as chairman of the Worker’s Education Association (Guernsey) for eight years from 2010 and then president for the next three.
He was founder and chairman of the Guernsey Consumer Group from 1964 to 2000, also serving for three years as chairman of the National Consumer Federation.
More recently he co-founded the Victor Hugo in Guernsey Society and was elected as president of La Societe Guernesiaise in 2022.
“I’ve been fortunate to enjoy so many varied projects and learn from so many knowledgeable people,” he said.
“My involvement in different roles and projects resulted from my wish to make a difference or make sure something was done when no-one else was willing. Guernsey has so many volunteers, often working several roles at the same time, we should all be grateful for their efforts.”
The success of the Round Table Christmas Fayres is one standout.
“They have been of enormous support to over 50 charities, both financially and in terms of spreading the word about their services,” he said.
Mr Bisson served in the States for seven years, some of that at the same time as he headed up the National Consumer Federation.
“That enabled me to press for quite a lot of changes in the way the government of Guernsey treated the people of Guernsey in terms of the consultation and engagement which we enjoy now that we didn’t before.”
The Swimarathon was an event that touched every family in the Island, he said.
“It’s involved every family in the Island but also helped so many families and people with the £1.5m it has raised,” said Mr Bisson.
The Victor Hugo in Guernsey Society was founded in 2015.
Pictured: Victor Hugo.
“I was introduced to Victor Hugo by Gregory Stevens Cox and had been fascinated not only by his work but also by the principles he held about human rights, capital punishment, education, poverty and slavery.
"It has been a great pleasure to bring his work and ideas to the attention of Islanders and to the world at large and I hope the Victor Hugo in Guernsey Society will be successful in establishing a Victor Hugo Centre in the foreseeable future.”
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