UK Guyanese 'chuffed' at winning Queen's Award By John Mair in London
Stabroek News
January 6, 2004

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Former Royal Press Secretary Colleen Harris, a prominent member of the so-called 'Guyanese Mafia' pronounced herself 'chuffed' (pleased) at her receipt of membership of the Royal Victorian Order in the Queen's New Year's Honours List.

She told Stabroek News, "I must admit I'm rather chuffed. I'm really pleased - it must mean that someone appreciated all the hard work."

Colleen left Royal employ in November after four years at St James Palace and Clarence House fighting off a voracious British tabloid press keen for Royal stories, good and bad. That proved all consuming and she announced her resignation citing the need to "spend more time with my family".

Yesterday, she said, "I am just relieved not to be on call 24 hours a day".

Since November she has been Director Of Communications for the Commission for Racial Equality, chaired by fellow Guyanese Trevor Phillips. She says she is delighted with the move: "I love the new job. It's a challenge as all the subjects we deal with (asylum seekers, immigration, citizenship etc) are high on the government's agenda. They are issues that the man in the street is concerned about. Also I am enjoying dealing with all the management issues."

Also honoured by the Queen was little-known headmaster Dexter Hutt who was knighted for 'turning round' an inner-city comprehensive school, Ninestiles in Acocks Green in Birmingham.