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St John award for volunteer after decades of service in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 07:30 24 February 2020

Andrew Read (centre) with (left to right) Lowestoft volunteers Colin Crisp, Brian Hall and Martin Robbins, and Tony Curd after the investiture at the Order of St John’s Priory Church in Clerkenwell. Picture: ORDER OF ST JOHN

Andrew Read (centre) with (left to right) Lowestoft volunteers Colin Crisp, Brian Hall and Martin Robbins, and Tony Curd after the investiture at the Order of St John’s Priory Church in Clerkenwell. Picture: ORDER OF ST JOHN

Archant

Decades of service to the St John’s Ambulance by Suffolk member Andrew Read have been recognised at a special ceremony at the Order’s historic home in London.

Mr Read, who holds the volunteer role of District Clinical Officer for Suffolk has been promoted from Member to Officer in the Order of St John. He has dedicated more than 40 years to St John Ambulance in Suffolk.

Being selected to become a member of the Order of St John, or being promoted within the Order, is in recognition of outstanding service to its key foundations - one of which is St John Ambulance. The Order of St John is a Royal Order of Chivalry and each recipient is approved by Her Majesty the Queen, its Sovereign Head.

He was presented with the Order's insignia by Surgeon Rear Admiral Lionel Jarvis, CBE DL, the Prior of the Priory of England and the Islands of the Order of St John and Chairman of St John Ambulance.

Mr Read said: "It was a great honour to hear that I had been promoted to Officer within the Order of St. John. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be, after being recognised by being admitted to the Order in the 1990s."

He joined St John Ambulance in 1974 as a St John Junior, progressing to Cadet and obtaining the coveted Grand Prior Award, before starting as an adult volunteer in Ipswich's Whitton Division. He has held various roles in Suffolk: volunteer, Rescue boat crew member, Nursing Officer, County Training Team member and Deputy County Nursing Officer.

The Order of St John is one of the world's longest established charities and traces its origins back 900 years to the Knights Hospitaller and the first Hospital of St John in Jerusalem in 1078. Its international history is showcased in the Museum of the Order of St John in Clerkenwell, London.

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