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Council Leader 'humbled' by Queen's honour

Douglas Borough Council Leader Councillor David Christian says he was ‘humbled’ to have been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List released on Friday June 14th.


Councillor Christian received the honour in recognition of his services to local government and the community of Douglas.


DavidChristian MediumCouncillor Christian says he is 'truly humbled and deeply honoured' by the recognitionElected to Douglas Borough Council at the age of 23, Councillor Christian, 48, become the Borough’s youngest Mayor at the age of 31 and, with the exception of one year, has served as Council Leader since 2003. In parallel with carrying out his Council duties and serving as a magistrate he runs his own contract cleaning business, Heritage Cleaners, which he started in 1986.


Receiving the news from His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor Mr Adam Wood came as ‘a complete shock’ he said. ‘I never entered local politics expecting any kind of reward. For me, my reward has simply been to be able to help people…to make a difference. It was for that same reason that I chose to pursue my Justice of the Peace responsibilities after my year as Mayor of Douglas, to give something back to the community.


‘I’ve never courted the popular vote or sat on the fence, choosing instead always to speak my mind, but only after doing my “homework” and researching issues thoroughly.


‘I cut my teeth in politics at the age of 20 when I was elected chairman of the local residents’ association, which meant meeting with councillors to campaign for better housing conditions. I’ve been in politics now a quarter of a century after being elected a councillor in 1987. I did choose to take a year out in 1993-1994 but soon came to realise you can’t do anything for the public good by just sitting on the sidelines so stood again and was voted back in the following year. In 2012 I was proud to be re-elected, topping the poll in Douglas and scoring the highest vote in the Isle of Man. To have secured the public mandate yet again was truly gratifying.


‘I see this award not just as a personal achievement but as a tribute to those closest to me whose generosity of spirit and forbearance have supported me through the difficult times. It is also tribute to those in the wider community who’ve kept faith in me. I offer them all - and whoever it was who was kind enough to nominate me - my heartfelt gratitude.


‘I’m just a Manxman from Spring Valley so am truly humbled and deeply honoured by this recognition. Keeping this secret for the past six weeks has been very hard and when I received the news it was probably one of the very few occasions in my adult life when I was lost for words.


‘To become a Member of the Order of the British Empire is an enormous honour for me. With the invaluable support of those dearest to me and my colleagues this award will also serve as an inspiration for me to continue serving the people of Douglas to the very best of my ability.’