Lincolnshire's Lorna Curtis and Gerald Parkes recognised in New Year's Honours list
A COMMUNITY stalwart and an independent cinema owner have both been recognised by the Queen in the New Year's Honours list.
Lorna Curtis of Coningsby will receive the newly-reinstated British Empire Medal for Services to the Community of Coningsby, while Gerald Parkes, owner of the Playhouse Cinema in Louth is being made an MBE for Services to the Cinema Industry.
Lorna has been involved with the luncheon club in her village since 1977 when it was formed as part of the Silver Jubilee.
She then took on the organisation of the club from 1987 and now, supported by a team of 30 volunteers, the club serves meals to 100 elderly people every Wednesday at Coningsby Village Hall.
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Lorna said: "The medal is a great honour and a lovely surprise. When I first received the letter I thought it was a wind up. I re-read it two or three times before it started to sink in.
"I have a fantastic team at the weekly luncheon club - I feel it's not about me, it's about other people. I say I may be the captain, but a captain cannot operate without a crew and that is true of the luncheon club.
"It is a vital service as for some elderly people it is their only form of socialising and getting out."
As well as running the luncheon club for 25 years, Mrs Curtis has been involved with the management of Coningsby Village Hall for 30 years serving as secretary and also with the Methodist church.
She is also a member of Coningsby and Tattershall WI and enjoys singing with the Community Chorus.
Gerald Parkes, the founder and owner of Parkway Cinemas which includes the Playhouse Cinema in Louth, said his MBE nomination was a complete surprise.
He said: "I am so proud of my company and what we have achieved over the years – but it isn't just me who has made it happen, it is everyone around me.
"I am so proud to have been entertaining and enriching people's lives for many years."
Gerald first began working in the industry in 1960 as a rewind boy at Wakefield's ABC Regal.
In 1983 he established Parkway Entertainment at the Regal, Worksop in 1985.
The Playhouse in Louth was opened in 1996 and the Parkway Cinema in Cleethorpes was built in 2004.
Mr Parkes and his team recently celebrated the completion of a major refurbishment to the Louth cinema.
Also being honoured with an MBE is Dr Cheryle Berry, chairman of the Horncastle-based Sir Joseph Banks Society, for services to education, health and charity in Lincolnshire and Derbyshire.