Friday 17th May, 2013, was a most memorable day for Metropolitan Tabernacle member, Dianne Leeman.
That’s because the east Belfast lady received an MBE from none other than the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace in London. Dianne was awarded the honour in recognition of her 37 years service to Local Government and to Tourism in Northern Ireland.
MBE stands for “The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” and, Dianne joins an illustrious, yet selective list of people from this province, who have gained such an honour.
She commented this week “I received notification that I was being recommended for the MBE, but I didn’t ever think it would happen. I’m absolutely stunned, but obviously very delighted to have been nominated for it”.
Although proud of her achievements nevertheless Dianne said it’s been a great privilege to serve in local government and do a job she clearly loves for so long. There’s hardly a part of Belfast City Hall she hasn’t influenced during almost four decades of service and her knowledge of Local Government and Tourism is second to none.
Twenty five Investitures are held each year in Edinburgh and at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle. With the Queen unavailable to attend this year’s ceremony at Buckingham Palace, Prince Charles represented the Royal Family in front of 120 recipients which included Dianne and her husband Robert, also a faithful Tabernacle member.
The couple got a bird’s-eye view of Buckingham Palace from the inside, an experience Robert says he will never forget.
“It was simply breathtaking, a beautiful building and once inside it was really something else. I’m very proud of Dianne’s achievement and naturally it was an emotional but memorable occasion; it’s a day we will always remember”.
It goes without saying that the staff and members of the Metropolitan Tabernacle are equally proud of Dianne and send her many congratulations.