Suffolk/Norfolk: Her Majesty’s diamond day for our community heroes

IT was a magical day for the unsung heroes of our community as they were thanked by the Queen for their contributions to community life at a special Diamond Jubilee garden party.

The Queen wore a peach hat and overcoat and was accompanied by the Duke of York while the Duke of Edinburgh continued to recover from a bladder infection, during yesterday’s event at Sandringham, Norfolk.

More than 3,500 guests from Suffolk and Norfolk and from a range of different backgrounds were invited, including businessmen, charities and other organisations.

Among them was Ipswich Star editor, Nigel Pickover, Sushil Soni, who established the Racial Equality Council, and delegates from the Salvation Army, including members from the town.

Dr Soni, 75, who recently established the region’s first Hindu temple in Ipswich, said: “We have been fortunate that the sun has shone on us. It is fabulous to be here.”

Mr Pickover added: “It was a truly wonderful day when Suffolk joined Norfolk to celebrate with Her Majesty.

“The Queen looked radiant in peach colours and the whole event was set off by beautiful weather, making up for the rainy Pageant day in London.”

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The Salvation Army’s Major Wendy Goodman, leader of The Priory Centre, in Queen’s Way, said: “We simply demonstrate our belief by changing people’s lives within communities.

“We are proud of The Priory Centre in that it is integrated well into the community and now offers 18 different activities, including Music Therapy for people with learning difficulties, cooking and crafts.”

Other people who were present at the party were Mojlum Khan, the centre manager at the Bangladeshi Support Centre and Joanna Carrick, from the Red Rose Chain Film and Theatre Company.

Yesterday’s event was the first garden party to be held at Sandringham since a similar event to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2002.

The Duke, who was absent after leaving hospital on Saturday, will also miss the Queen’s trip to the East Midlands tomorrow, Buckingham Palace said.

The Duke fell ill following the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, when he was on board the Spirit Of Chartwell royal barge in a flotilla of 1,000 boats along the Thames in wet and cold conditions.

He is continuing to convalesce, the Palace said.

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