Queen honours two linked with Kenton school

First published in Search by

TWO of the honours handed out in the Queen's birthday list have gone to people connected to a school in Kenton, for their services to education.

Ruth Robins, headteacher of the Jewish Free School in The Mall, has been made a Dame and Arnold Wagner, chairman of the school's governing body received an OBE.

South African-born Dame Ruth has been head of the JFS since 1993. She is a graduate of the University of Capetown and taught at JFS before becoming a lecturer in English at the University of Tel Aviv in Israel.

On her return to the UK, she became head of modern languages at JFS and a trainer of newly qualified teachers for the old Inner London Education Authority. She then became the JFS's head of lower school and later first deputy head before taking up her current role.

Her personal interests include music, dealing in post-Impressionist fine art and psychology.

Dame Ruth, who lives in Camden, said: "I am both delighted and humbled to receive this honour.

"Any headteacher is dependent on his or her team in order to build, maintain and further improve standards in education, and I have been especially fortunate in the support, dedication, loyalty and guidance received throughout the years from my colleagues, the school's staff, former headteachers and, of course, the governing body.

"They have, in their many ways, been a deep source of strength and inspiration and, while I am personally the recipient of this honour, it is a tribute to them all. It is also an accolade for the teaching profession as a whole, and that is especially rewarding."

The JFS was established in 1732 to education orphans and is now a comprehensive school.

Mr Wagner, 53, has been chairman of its governors since 1993 and previously held the same job at the Michael Sobell Sinai School in Shakespeare Drive, Kenton.

He was born in Manchester and gained a BA in business studies from Middlesex Polytechnic in 1972 and an MSc in industrial relations. He is director of human resources for the Smiths Group and lives in Kenton and he and his wife, Sandra, have four children.

He said: "It is a great honour. I am particularly pleased for the headteacher who has given her entire career to education. It is wonderful recognition for her and it reflects on the whole school."

 James Moir, 62, from Pinner has received a CBE for his services to broadcasting.

Mr Moir became controller of Radio 2 in January 1996, having previously been the BBC's deputy director of corporate affairs. Before that he had spent 30 years with BBC TV light entertainment. Since 1991 he has liaised between the corporation and the royal household.

In his eight years at Radio 2, it has become the country’s most-listened to radio station and was named Station of the Year in the Sony Radio Academy Awards in 1999, 2001 and 2002.

He has lived in Pinner all his life and was educated at Gunnersbury Roman Catholic Grammar School. His introduction to entertainment and drama happened at the University of Nottingham.

He is a trustee of Birmingham Symphony Hall, a member of the University of Salford’s international media centre and a member of the council of the NSPCC. He was appointed a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order in the birthday honours last year.

 Professor Alan Boobis, 54, of Malvern Avenue, South Harrow, was awarded an OBE for services to the risk assessment of pesticides.

He retired as deputy chairman of the Government's advisory committee on pesticides in December after serving the maximum term of six years. One of his roles was to investigate the effects on people and the environment of new products submitted for licensing.

He said of his honour: "It came as a complete surprise, but I'm absolutely delighted. I found my time on the committee interesting and satisfying."

Originally from Glasgow, Professor Boobis has lived in South Harrow for more than 15 years. He and his wife, Susan, who was a Harrow councillor for eight years, have two children at university.

He is professor of biochemical pharmacology and director of the department of health toxicology at the Imperial College of Medicine.

 Nemu Chandria, 65, of Hall Farm Close, Stanmore, was awarded an OBE for services to the Jain community.

Mr Chandaria retired as chairman of the board of trustees of the Oshwal Community earlier this year and is deputy chairman of the Institution of Jainology and a member of the Jain Committee, an institution promoting the religion locally, nationally and internationally.

He has been instrumental in raising awareness and promoting the work of Jainism, a faith with a strong emphasis on non-violence, helping to translate Jain scriptures into English and stage an exhibition of Jain art at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which had the Queen and the then President of India as patrons.

He said: "One feels great to receive an honour of this magnitude. I intend to live up to it and to keep on working hard to promote Jainism.

"My future projects include trying to get Jain included in the curriculum of religious education in mainstream schools."

 Richard Evans, 43, deputy head of Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue, Wembley received an MBE for services to education. He has been a teacher for more than 20 years.

Mr Evans lives in Mill Hill and is married with two children.

He said: "When I told my wife I had an MBE, she thought I said I had an MBA. She didn't see what was so special about it. My reaction was one of total surprise and great joy. I am absolutely delighted."

 David Brook of Harrow, the head of the planning policy branch for land stability, flooding, pollution control and the coastal zone in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, was awarded an OBE.

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