The news of her MBE for voluntary service to education and the community in the West of Northern Ireland came as “quite a surprise” to Florence Brunt who commented that “I’ve never done it for any rewards”.

“I am very proud that I have been honoured in this way. Whenever I was involved in anything educational and the community as well, I’ve never done it for any rewards, I did it because I wanted to do it and I was interested and I had great support from my husband and my family,” said Florence.

Having spent her working life in education in the primary school sector, after taking early retirement Florence became a member of the Education and Library Board in 1997. During her time on the board, she was entitled to sit on three Boards of Governors in Fermanagh.

Already a parent representative on the Enniskillen Collegiate Grammar School Board of Governors, Florence joined Brookeborough Primary School Board of Governors and she was also a board representative for Enniskillen Nursery School when it was set up 20 years ago.

“I was seeing education from nursery, primary and post primary. By having those three I was seeing the whole range and what was happening right across the spectrum,” shared Florence.

“I just love to see young people getting all the opportunities that they possibly can because very often, I just even think of my own community here in Fivemiletown, when you are out in the west you are left to the one side,” she said, adding: “I think it’s so important for young people to get the best education they can because that sets you up for life.”

“My parents gave me the chance and all of my siblings the chance to do the best that we could and I would like to see that for all children,” Florence concluded.