FORMER Woking mayor Rosie Sharpley enjoyed a day she’ll remember for the rest of her life when she went to Windsor Castle last week to receive her MBE medal from The Queen.
Rosie said: “Her Majesty’s opening comment to me was: ‘Well, you didn’t have far to come’.
“It was a truly memorable occasion in the most lovely setting with masses of primroses leading up the slopes to the castle.”
Rosie’s services to the community have been second to none, and when she heard she was being made an MBE in the New Year Honours, she modestly said: “I was very surprised and humbled. However, I feel the privilege has always been mine to be in such a position to help others.”
Although she is self-effacing about her ability to focus on the good, recognise a need and get something done about it, those in the know recognise her remarkable achievements and think she has certainly earned her place as a Member of the Order of the British Empire.
Rosie said: “The Queen is truly amazing – she has the skill to effortlessly glean the maximum information from each person as she fixes you with those wonderful deep blue, enquiring eyes.
“She asked me in which order I fulfilled the roles of being a nurse, magistrate and a councillor.
“When I said I did them all at the same time, she asked: ‘How did you manage all that?’ I explained it was merely a matter of organising things around a shift pattern, and said that doing a wide range of duties left me privileged in having a unique insight into the lives of local people.
“The ceremony was a very private and intimate occasion and Her Majesty was wearing the beautiful brooch – a basket of flowers with gems petals – I always used to draw as a child, never thinking that I would ever see it for real.”
Rosie has loved Woking ever since she and her husband Jamie moved to Alterton Close after they married 36 years ago.
She said: “We were pioneers of the then very new Goldsworth Park in 1977.”
As well as being a dedicated nurse since 1969 and a Liberal Democrat councillor since 1988 until her retirement in 2011, she is still, and has been, a magistrate since 1989. She was also Woking mayor in 1993-94.
Rosie, who has two children and is an avid fan of Woking Football Club, has always put people before politics.
She said: “These duties have enabled me to channel local needs. Anything I have done has been specific to Woking. As mayor I concentrated on the needs of children.”
And the first thing she did when arriving back from Windsor was go straight to Woking Walk-in Centre, where she had worked for many years, to show her medal to some of her friends and former colleagues who presented her with a bouquet and celebration tea.
Rosie said: “I’ll remember the day forever.”