'Proud' great-grandfather receives MBE


Emma Billingham

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A great-grandfather has described his pride at being made an MBE during an investiture at Windsor Castle.

Karnail Pannu, one of the five founding members of the Windsor and Maidenhead Community Forum (WAMCF), was invested by Princess Anne at a service on Tuesday, July 12 for his services to the community in the two towns.

After two other members of the WAMCF had already been honoured, the 78-year-old said he felt it was his turn.

"It was such a wonderful day," he said. "Princess Anne spoke to me about the forum and what it  did and said it was brilliant about how it bridged the gap with the young.

"I feel very proud."

The forum was launched in 1981 to bring together members of diverse multi-racial, faith and cultural communities in order to achieve cohesion, tolerance and understanding.

Karnail's wife Mohinderpal, son Gurdeep and eldest daughter Rajdeep joined him at the castle, before meeting with his other two children, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren for a family meal.

"It was a wonderful family outing," he added.

Karnail, who lives in Clare Road, is still chairman of the WAMCF and is proud of what the forum has achieved over the last 31 years.

He said: "Maidenhead is a better place now because of it."

Karnail was made an MBE as a part of the Queen's New Year's Honours list. He was sent his letter notifying him of the award two weeks before the public announcement on New Year's Eve, but nearly threw the letter away thinking it was an advert. After checking with his daughter, he realised it was genuine and went to tell his wife.

He has now framed his MBE certificate, and will be keeping the medal safe in its presentation case.


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