Aghia Pal Singh in 2019 MBE List

The honour recognises his services to the communities of the West Midlands and voluntary work in the UK and abroad

West Midlands Fire Service Press – for guidance
THE Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2019

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We’re proud and delighted that Aghia Pal Singh, a member of our staff, has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2019.

Aghia, who’s from Walsall and has worked as an infrastructure engineer in our ICT department for 21 years, has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

The honour recognises his services to the communities of the West Midlands and his voluntary work in the UK and abroad.

The 59-year-old, who's married with 3 children, said: “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be awarded the MBE. I read the letter in disbelief and was overcome with emotion. I’m very grateful to whoever put me forward.

“Working for West Midlands Fire Service has given me the opportunity to give something to the community – be that at work, through volunteering with the UK International Search and Rescue Team or via the various charity projects with which I’m involved.

“As a Sikh I have tried, over the years, to put back into the community. Sikhism teaches that people should try to become less self-centred and live their lives in the selfless service of others.

“All I wanted to do was make a difference in people’s lives. I’m very humbled.”
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My Thoughts

A few weeks ago, my wife said there was an envelope marked “Cabinet Office.”

I thought that it was probably to do with my ISAR duties and as I read the letter, I was firstly in disbelief then had to quickly sit down as I was overcome with emotion but continued to read that I was going to be appointed with a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

The Prime Minister has asked me to inform you, in strict confidence, that having accepted the advice of the Main Honours Committee, she is recommending that Her Majesty The Queen may be graciously pleased to approve that you be appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Birthday 2019 Honours List.

Not in my wildest dreams did I think it would happen; so massive thank to the person(s) who believed I deserved it and putting in the effort to write it.

Working for the West Midlands Fire Service has given me the opportunity to put back into the community, be it at work, through the UK International Search & Rescue Team or through the various charitable projects that I have been involved with.

I think the main thing that had stuck in my memory from my visits to Matumaini Orphanage in Tanzania which the fire service has always supported is that I feel very humbled to have played a small part in the lives of the kids but the children have probably given us more than we could ever give them in just teaching us to be happy, whatever the circumstances you may live in or how hard life might be. Even though the children had very little; they always had a smile on their face.

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Over the years as a Sikhs, I have tried to put back into the community just like what Sikhism teaches that people should try to become less self-centred and live their lives in the selfless service of others (Seva).

All I wanted to do was make a difference in people’s lives and never saw myself as a role model for the community so am humbled to receive the “Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)”.

I understand that the purpose of the Honours system is of course to thank recipients for their services to the community and also to encourage others to serve our country. I hope this award has that effect on my family, friends and others who know me.

Regards

Aghia Pal Singh MBE
[email protected]
United Kingdom International Search & Rescue Team
Infrastructure Engineer | West Midlands Fire Service

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