NEW YEAR HONOURS 2013
I am pleased to announce that Her Majesty The Queen has conferred the award of an MBE to Mrs Caroline Jean Yon in recognition of her services to the community on Ascension Island.
During her 21 years as a resident of Ascension Island, Caroline has devoted herself through voluntary service to the promotion of democratic accountability, a high quality and independent judicial system, providing a lay veterinary service and devoting herself to the protection of the Island’s biodiversity, in particular marine life.
Caroline served for 15 years as a Justice of the Peace, transferring recently to the role of Lay Advocate. In the latter role she provides free legal guidance to members of the community. The Island’s judicial process relies heavily on lay officials. Caroline’s long and respected service has helped strengthen the independence of and confidence in the judicial system.
Caroline also worked to establish a democratic Island Council in 2002, becoming a member of the first ever Island Council, serving until 2007 having been re-elected in 2005.
In addition Caroline is the Island’s lay Veterinary Surgeon, having self-taught the skills and knowledge required to provide this service to the community, and to support the Ascension Island Government’s role in protecting the Island from illegal importation of animals. Caroline is also a leading diver and supports many UK armed forces expedition teams, the Conservation Department and visiting marine ecology teams to access, record and protect the island’s remarkable inshore biodiversity.
Caroline’s voluntary work for the community has also included three years as editor of the Island’s sole newsletter – The Islander – and, currently, she chairs the Board of Governors of Two Boats School.
Caroline is currently the manager of the European Space Agency Monitoring Station, through Cable and Wireless.
Ascension Island relies heavily on volunteers and is blessed with many. The award of an MBE recognises that Caroline is one of the Island’s finest examples.
Owen O Sullivan
20 December 2012