Arthur Tait, our chairman, has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours with a BEM (British Empire Medal for civil services worthy of recognition by the Crown).
This Honour is for Arthur’s major contribution to the community for the work that he has done for the Brompton Cemetery as the Chairman of the Friends of Brompton Cemetery, in improving the cemetery for all visitors as well as those living locally.
He has worked tirelessly with the Friends and the Royal Parks for over 20 years to transform and preserve this important Grade I listed site from being almost a wilderness to a model of an historic cemetery with an active role in modern society. It is one of the “Magnificent Seven” cemeteries and his unwavering commitment to the cemetery and his assiduous work with the Royal Parks has helped to restore and maintain the cemetery’s buildings, monuments and landscape, and as a result, has encouraged greater use of the cemetery by those sympathetic to the importance, beauty, heritage and fragility of this significant cemetery.
Arthur made a very important contribution to the Royal Parks £6.2 Million four year project to transform the cemetery to its present glory with support from the National Heritage Lottery Fund and National Lottery Community Fund.
Under Arthur’s leadership, membership of the Friends has grown to around 500, with about 100 active Volunteers. This impressive Volunteer Force assists with landscape and memorial maintenance, undertakes heritage projects and leads corporate volunteering days. In addition, the Friends group is now a much-valued community and visitor resource. By welcoming visitors, especially in the new Information Centre and the wonderfully restored chapel, providing advice and information, and offering guided tours and a varied programme of events and activities, the Friends are critical in engaging the local community in its heritage.
We the Friends of Brompton Cemetery are very pleased that Arthur’s unstinting service to this important community resource has been publicly recognised.
See also the notice on the Royal Parks website.