02 July 2014
Special tribute to a much-missed model employee
There was a special tribute to Bekonscot Model Village employee Nijal Drummond on Tuesday (July 1), when he was posthumously awarded the title of Employee of the Year at Pride of Bucks 2014.
Known for his ready smile and hard work, Nijal’s life was tragically cut short when he suffered a heart attack earlier this year, and it was a former colleague who put him forward for the award, which was collected by his family.
Nijal's sisters were grateful to the committee for recognising their brother's dedication to his job and, upon accepting the award on his behalf, said it would mean a lot to his children who are very proud of their father.
Buckinghamshire resident and fashion designer David Emanuel, famous for having designed the wedding dress worn by Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1981, co-presented the award with B P Collins’ senior partner, Chris Hardy, and said afterwards: "This was such an emotionally charged event, particularly presenting this award given Nijal's sad passing earlier this year but it is an honour to meet and speak to his family who are here today."
Chris Hardy added: “We received many superb entries, which just goes to show that Buckinghamshire firms really do value the loyalty, dedication and support of their employees. What made Nijal really special though, were the outstanding comments and testimonials from those who worked with him and who knew him from his role at the model village.
“To be able to give this award to his family as a lasting tribute makes us very proud.”
The awards ceremony, which took place in a marquee at Stoke Park, was hosted by TV presenter Matt Johnson and attended by more than 300 guests, including celebrity astrologer Russell Grant and world champion figure skater and Dancing on Ice star Matt Evers.
Among the other winners on the day were Beaconsfield "superwoman" Tina Massie, winner of the Cultural Contribution award, Chesham Boxing Club legend Jackie Wylie was awarded in the Healthy Lifestyle category and the committee agreed on joint winners for Child of Courage, Henry Neenan and Rayaan Mahmood for their unprecedented bravery.
Launched in January by the Buckinghamshire Advertiser/Examiner and getbucks.co.uk, Pride of Bucks is designed to celebrate the county’s champions across the voluntary sector and business, as well as children who have shown bravery in the face of adversity.
The winners were chosen by a judging panel made up of the Pride of Bucks committee, sponsors and partners, as well as local celebrity Suzanne Shaw of Hearsay and Dancing on Ice fame, who was a guest at the Pride of Bucks ceremony last year.
The awards are run in partnership with Chiltern District Council and South Bucks District Council, along with Beaconsfield PR company Cirkle PR and Stoke Park.