A Kettering man who has dedicated most of his life to the air cadets has been made an MBE.
Barry Oram received the recognition for services to young people in Kettering in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List, announced tonight (Friday).
Mr Oram joined the town’s 1101 Squadron as a cadet in 1959, serving in several ranks, and has gone on to provide inspirational and life-changing support to an estimated 1,000 youngsters.
He said he was stunned to find out he had received the honour.
He said: “I was in shock, utter disbelief.
“The letter said ‘Cabinet Office’, I thought “what is this?”
“When I opened it I just could not believe it. It’s only just sinking in.”
Mr Oram, 73, rose up the ranks of the squadron throughout the years, becoming warrant officer.
He worked tirelessly to promote the air cadets and served as commanding officer from 1987 to 2002 before becoming life president.
He has played an integral role in helping to raise about £200,000 to support the squadron’s work and remains active, continuing to positively shape the lives of young people in Kettering.
Mr Oram says he has no plans to give up just yet.
He said: “It’s in my blood I think.
“I’ve always said the friends you make are generally friends for life.
“I still keep in touch with many people who were here over the years.”
As well as the air cadets he has also supported other organisations in the community including the Royal British Legion and the Royal Air Force Association.
He has overseen great successes in the Duke of Edinburgh award and said he was proud of the opportunities he had helped youngsters have.
He said: “We have had cadets who have gone on to achieve great things, many in civilian life and many still serving.”
- An MBE has also been awarded to Ishver Patel from Wellingborough for services to charity in the UK and abroad.