Among the three Bailiwick residents honoured as part of this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List is a Sark resident of more than 75 years, who has been thanked for his services to the island.
His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor has announced that Mr Edric Baker is to receive an MBE for his generous lifetime commitment to the community of Sark.
Mr Baker has been acknowledged for his palpable enthusiasm and passion for community. He expressed his sincere surprise and gratitude for the honour.
“Very few people in Sark get this award so it was such a tremendous thing to happen.”
Pictured: Edric Baker MBE.
Mr Baker was born in Sark during the German Occupation in 1943. Following his mother’s passing in the early 1970s, he inherited the family seat on Chief Pleas which he subsequently held for almost 46 years, until the change in the way Sark was governed. He recalls the introduction of the first all-elected assembly in 2008, the first democratic assembly of its kind in Sark, of which he was a huge supporter.
Prior to this, it was common practice that political positions were acquired through family connections that often stem back generations. After the change in the way Sark is governed, both Mr Baker and his wife Diane were elected in 2008 and have undertaken prominent roles since to ensure that the fabric of the community runs effectively, and that the residents are heard.
The MBE, although unexpected, holds a personal significance to Mr Baker.
“I have been quite a royalist all my life so I am really honoured,” he said.
“We are rather unique in Sark when it comes to voluntary work. Nobody is paid. We are not really politicians, but we care about the island and community, which is quite unique and exceptional”.
“I still think there is a strong community spirit in Sark," he added. "A lot of people help out and do their bit which is something to be cherished.”
Pictured: Her Majesty The Queen.
In addition to his official contributions, Mr Baker helps his son in the maintenance of the Sark landscape in his spare hours, saying “We pride ourselves on our lovely areas of coastlines and bays for people to wander and enjoy”.
He credits the support of his family, namely his wife, for his achievements and for this recognition, who he says have “put up with my long hours and committee work.”
A reception is taking place at Government House today, Saturday 8 June, to mark Her Majesty's birthday and to toast those she has chosen to honour this year. The event will feature music from the Schools’ Music Service and a performance from Major Sergeant Gary Freeland and the Bugles of 5th Battalion.
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