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Queen’s honours for the East

  • Date: 25 January 2011
  • Area: National, South East
two women in conversation

Ellah Allfrey. Credit: Martin Figura

Three cultural figures from the East of England are among those who were honoured in the Queen's New Year's Honours list 2011.

The Honours lists are published twice a year and recognise people of outstanding merit who have made an exceptional contribution to an activity or field of work.

One of those recognised was Paul Anderson, CEO of the UK Centre for Carnival Arts in Luton, an Arts Council England regularly funded organisation. He was awarded an MBE for services to the arts.

On receiving his new title, he said: 'It is amazing and a massive acknowledgment, not just for me, but for an artform and community of wonderfully talented people. Receiving this award is an absolute honour for and on behalf of carnival arts.'

Paul said he felt the honour sent a signal to the wider carnival community that they are being recognised and valued. He said: 'I understand there are very few people honoured from the carnival community and I hope this opens the doors more widely to UK's carnival heroes and 'sheroes' who continue to contribute to the creative economy and strengthen UK's position as a world arts leader.'

When asked what he thought was behind the honour he said: 'I think it's just keeping my head down and getting on with doing what I know best, which is to organise, manage and raise money for the arts.

'It's also due to the fact that we have developed an excellent working relationships with our key partners, the Arts Council, who have been totally visionary in their steadfast support for an unsung art form in a place that perhaps most people would not expect it to come from.'

Zimbabwean publisher Ellah Allfrey, Deputy Editor of Granta magazine and board member at Writers' Centre Norwich, was awarded an OBE for services to publishing.

In an interview with SW Radio Africa earlier this month, Ellah said it was her upbringing that inspired a career in publishing: 'I grew up in a house full of books and where writing and a creative life was seen as something important.'

Ellah worked for five years at Penguin Press before moving to Random House for six years. Since joining the Board of Writers' Centre Norwich she has been active in the organisational change and expansion of the company.

The final East of England honour went to award-winning writer and translator Lakshmi Holmström, who is a member of the British Centre for Literary Translation's advisory panel, and was given an MBE for services to literature. She was born in India but has lived in Norwich for more than 30 years.  She has translated short stories and novels by some of the most prolific contemporary Tamil writers and is a published translator of modern Tamil poetry.

Reacting to the honour she said: 'It has been my pleasure and privilege, as a translator, to bring Tamil literature, fiction and poetry to a wider audience.'

To find out who else made the Honours list go to the Directgov website.