RESTAURANT owner and local fundraiser Lino Pires won the British Empire medal last week.
Mr Pires, owner of the Butchers Arms in Priors Hardwick which celebrated its 40th anniversary on Tuesday, won the award for his charity work, worthy of recognition by the Crown.
Mr Pires will turn 80 in May and has raised over £250,000 for the Royal Marsden Hospital, a specialist cancer treatment hospital in Sutton, and over £500,000 for other charities including the Red Cross and the National Garden Scheme.
He said: “The medal also belongs to my son, daughter-in-law, my three grandchildren and my staff, Terry my sweet lady and to my customers.
“To raise money my staff have worked for free at charity dinners, we have opened the gardens and my daughter-in-law has raised over £2,000 on her bike. Without them and my customers we couldn’t have done it.”
My Pires believes himself to be the first Portuguese man to be awarded by the Queen and the first restauranteur.
He added: “I am very pleased to have won the award but saddened that I cannot share it with my late wife who died four years ago. I am sad she cannot be here at this very happy time.”
The award came as a surprise to Mr Pires who was extremely excited after his son revealed the news to him at the weekend.