Tom Karas collects his MBE

Published Wednesday, 21st December 2016 in Barony Campus news

Tom karas

Barony Campus lecturer Tom Karas proudly received his MBE from Prince Charles at an investiture at Buckingham Palace in London this week.

Tom - a popular member of the Forestry department and also Senior Warden for residential students at Barony - received his award for “Services to Rural Education in Scotland”.

Here Tom describes the experience of gaining his MBE in his own words:

It was a great day for an honour!

The sun was shining as my wife, son and I walked across the park to Buckingham Palace. The Union Jack was flying from the top of the flag pole. There was time for some family photographs, before showing our invitations and passports to gain entry.

The policeman congratulated me on my honour and wished me a good day – the first of many staff and officials that made the whole event special.

Once inside I was separated from my wife and son, had a pin attached to my suit lapel and joined the other 92 recipients in a long, elegant room full of interesting artwork.

I sipped water and chatted to some of the others receiving awards and found them all very interesting and friendly.

We were talked through what would happen and the first batch of names was read out. I was not in the first group, so I could watch on the television screens.

Prince Charles was giving out the honours and had a conversation with everyone - very impressive and all based on his “homework”.

Eventually my name was read out and I joined the queue that moved along various corridors, with names being checked at several points.

Then I was at the front of the queue and then I was chatting to Prince Charles about Barony, teaching the students, proper forestry and his involvement at Dumfries House – before his hand came out to end the conversation with a handshake.

Afterwards we queued up for the official photos before taking our own in the courtyard.

The sun was still shining as we left and tourists were busy taking their holiday snaps.

I could not resist suggesting that we gave them a wave!

Photo caption: Tom Karas proudly showing his MBE at Buckingham Palace with his son.

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