It gives me great pleasure to be able to congratulate Roy Starkey, a past President of the Russell Society (2009-2013), for being awarded the British Empire Medal for services to mineralogy. The award was presented on 20th October at the Guildhall in Worcester by the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Mrs Beatrice Grant. The ceremony was watched by family, friends, and members of the mineralogy community, including Robin Hansen, Curator, Minerals at the Natural History Museum London and Tom Cotterell, Senior Curator: Mineralogy and Petrology at Amgueddfa Cymru, National Museum Wales.
Roy is well known to most of us and it is wonderful that his invaluable contribution to mineralogy and the mineralogical community has been recognised by the Crown. The award celebrates Roy’s essential role in sustaining the mineralogical community and helping to preserve Britain’s mineral heritage for future generations. His contributions to the Russell Society have been enormous, and I think it no exaggeration to say that if it wasn’t for Roy, the Society would be in a far poorer state than it is today.
Roy was delighted to be given the award, commenting: “I was very surprised, to say the least, when I received the letter notifying me of the award. The study of minerals has been a lifelong passion for me, through which I’ve met many wonderful people. It has been a huge privilege to work with curators and collections in our national museums. I see the award as being good for mineralogy in general and it was great to be able to celebrate this honour with family and friends in Worcester.”
This is not the first time that Roy’s achievements have been recognised. In 2016, Roy was the first recipient of The Marsh Award for Mineralogy, which recognises ‘unsung heroes’ who have made a major contribution to the promotion of palaeontology or mineralogy in the UK and abroad.
Dr David Aubrey-Jones, Honorary President of the Russell Society