Honoured for service to the community

Karen Morrison (far left) and Bob Chadha (third left) pictured at Cumbernauld Royary Club's 50th anniversary celebration
Karen Morrison (far left) and Bob Chadha (third left) pictured at Cumbernauld Royary Club's 50th anniversary celebration

Two town residents receive MBEs in New Year Honours List

Karen Morrison has been recognised for services to the Children’s Hearings System in Scotland and the community in North Lanarkshire, while former councillor Bob Chadha is rewarded for services to local government and community cohesion in the west of Scotland.

Karen served on her first children’s hearing in 1980 and continued until 2010 when she took a role in the area support team and is now the assistant district convener for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth.

Karen, who retired as an academic co-ordinator at Strathclyde University in 2010, has been involved when many other groups including Friends of Cumbernauld Glen, Cumbernauld Environmental Society, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and is currently treasurer of Cumbernauld Rotary.

She said: “The area convener of the Children’s Hearing asked if I minded if she put me forward, but I never did anything for rewards or public recognition, I did it to give something back and I think I’ve got more out of out it over the years than I’ve given.

“I am absolutely delighted to be receiving an MBE. I actually received the letter in October telling me, but I was sworn to secrecy, so it’s a relief that I can tell people now.”

Bob became the first Asian elected to North Lanarkshire Council in 1995 and continued to serve as a Labour member until last year’s election, latterly in the Cumbernauld North ward.

He first became associated with Cumbernauld in 1972 when he helped Ugandan refugees settle in the town as part of the Lord Provost of Glasgow’s commission, and moved here himself in the early 1980s.

After qualifying as a social worker he worked for Strathclyde Regional Council until reorganisation and his career would see him spend 30 years as a social worker and ten as a youth worker.

He also founded the first multi-racial youth club in Glasgow in the 1970s and became the first Sikh Justice of the Peace.

Bob said: “It was a huge surprise, but now it has sunk in a bit I’m absolutely delighted.

“Whether it was as a social worker, youth worker or a councillor I always tried my best to bring communities together and I have to thank whoever it was who decided I was worthy to be put forward.”

North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim Logue added: “On behalf of everyone at the council, I’d like to congratulate Bob on receiving this well-deserved accolade.

“He did so much to foster a spirit of peace and understanding between faith groups and many other sections of our community and as a councillor did so much for so many people.”