A PENSIONER who dedicated more than 35 years to community life has spoken of his pride at receiving a rare Royal honour.
John Darwin Johnson – known as Jack – was presented with a British Empire Medal (BEM) by the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Sue Snowdon, at a unique fire-lit ceremony in the 82-year-old’s home village of Castle Eden.
Jack said: “It was a wonderful night. All the community who I have supported throughout the years all turned up.”
The father-of-one and grandad-of-three has been a warden, and later a verger, for the village’s St James’ Church, and he is also involved in fund-raising.
Jack, who has lived in Castle Eden for 55 years and is married to Ann, said: “It was very emotional.
“I don’t know why I should get it. I have just done what I have had to do.”