Five people from Liverpool who have played a leading role in the worlds of music, voluntary and community work and medicine are being with a top civic honour.
The Citizen of Honour award was introduced by Liverpool City Council in 2008 to formally recognise individuals who have made a significant, exceptional or unique contribution to enriching the life of the city.
At a special service at the Town Hall on Monday 9 May, the following people will have the honour conferred on them:
Allan Williams – in recognition of his contribution to the music industry in the city as the original manager of The Beatles. He secured their first bookings in 1960 and their tour of Hamburg in Germany. He played a crucial role in establishing Beatles tourism in Liverpool – an industry now estimated to be worth £80 million a year – by organising the first conventions devoted to the band in the 1970s. He said: “I am over the moon, very proud and honoured. I am no spring chicken now and have been looking forward to the event. I am pleased to have been born and bred in Liverpool, to me it’s the most wonderful city in the UK and I hope that I have done it proud.”
Brian Lawless MBE – for his 40 years of unpaid voluntary service for organisations including Vauxhall Neighbourhood Council, Rice Lane Community Organisation, Rice Lane City Farm and Walton Advice Centre. He has also served as a governor at a number of schools. He said: “I feel it is a great honour to be honoured by my own great city but behind every man there is a wife or partner who should also be thanked for the help and support they have given us over the years.”
Kwong Ngan (aka Kenny Tam) – for more than 40 years representing the Chinese community, including the longest standing chairman of the See Yep association and founding the Merseyside School of Tai Chi, the first of its kind in the UK. He said: “Liverpool is my home so to receive the Citizen of Honour award in this great city and share this moment with you, my family and friends is just incredible. You have given me this amazing award but I am only standing here, because of what the City of Liverpool has given to me.”
Roger O’Hara – in recognition of his campaigning on social issues in the Granby/Toxteth area including chairman of Toxteth Community Council and the Dingle Housing Regeneration Committee. He said: “I was surprised and honoured to be offered this award. In accepting it, I have to recognise the consist help I have received from those around me, especially of my wife Lillian.”
Dr Chris Wells – for his medical work in the field of neurological pain relief and pioneering new techniques including as Director of the Walton Centre and as President of The European Pain Federation. He said: “Receiving this Honour is a very special tribute not only to me but to the many patients and colleagues with whom I’ve worked – it is truly the pinnacle of my career.”
Lord Mayor, Councillor Tony Concepcion, said: “I am delighted to be able to pay tribute to the latest recipients of the Citizen of Honour awards for making an outstanding contribution to Liverpool life.
“Their selfless hard work and commitment in each of their chosen fields has made a huge difference to Liverpool and helped put the city on the map.”