Bonnie Tyler among Welsh people recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours

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Singer Bonnie Tyler has appeared among the long list of Welsh people who have been recognised as part of this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The star from Swansea, who is known for her distinctively husky voice and hits including Total Eclipse Of The Heart, is to be made an MBE for her services to music.

Tyler, 70, whose real name is Gaynor Sullivan, has had a career spanning five decades since she was first scouted in 1974 while performing in pubs and clubs in south Wales.

Among those in Wales who are also being made MBEs, one of the highest titles that can be granted in Britain and awarded for outstanding achievements or service to the community which have had a long-term significant impact, is David Brynmor Williams, known as Brynmor Williams.

Mr Williams, 70, is a triple Welsh international having played rugby union and rugby league for Wales and also represented the country at a senior level in athletics, and is being recognised for his services to sport and charity.

He was a test player for the British Lions on their 1977 tour to New Zealand during which his team beat the All Blacks.

Barbarians v New Zealand maul
Brynmor Williams passing the ball during a match against the All Blacks at Cardiff Arms Park (PA)

The former scrum-half has been a well-known television and radio pundit for the BBC in both English and Welsh languages for more than 30 years.

But he has also kept busy with numerous charitable endeavours including being a trustee of the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust which helps look after rugby players with life-changing injuries, a patron of Velindre Cancer Centre Hospital where he became an active presence after losing his sister to the disease and ambassador for Fields in Trust Wales, which protects community green spaces.

His son Lloyd Williams currently plays for the Cardiff Blues in the same position and has also been capped for Wales.

Another sportsman being made an MBE is Glamorgan County Cricket Club’s chief executive Hugh Morris who was one of the most consistent and successful batsmen in Glamorgan’s history.

Poet Gwyneth Lewis, 62, will become an MBE for services to literature following a lifetime of achievements which include being named the first National Poet of Wales in 2005, writing the lyrics which appear on the front of Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre and being elected Honorary Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford in 2019.

Rocio Cifuentes, 45, will also be made an MBE. She is the daughter of political refugees from Chile and has supported hundreds of young people during her time as chief executive Officer of charity Ethnic Minorities and Youth Support Team Wales (EYST). She has been named the new children’s commissioner for Wales.

Wales’ new children’s commissioner
Wales’ new children’s commissioner Rocio Cifuentes. (Welsh Government/PA)

Businesswoman Angela Burns, the former Conservative Senedd member for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, who stepped down from the post in 2021, has been recognised for her political and public service.

Llanelli Labour MP Nia Griffith becomes a Dame Commander – describing it as an “absolutely huge privilege”.

“I have to say, I was absolutely astounded when I received the news,” she said.

Following on from the significant number of key workers recognised in last year’s honours, a number of health workers have been made MBEs again this year for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

They include Andrew Rhys Howell, founder of BCB International which makes life-saving equipment for the frontline services and who converted a factory to produce hand sanitiser in March 2020, and then PPE.

Claire Aston, head of long-term complex care for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, has been recognised for her pandemic response in protecting the most vulnerable in society.

As have Swansea Bay University Health Board’s Director of Public Health Keith Reid and Consultant Physician Umakant Ramchandra Dave.

Others include Paul Wright, station manager at British Forces Broadcasting Service for services to the Armed Forces; Marcia-Yvette Hinkson-Gittens, founder of South Wales Black Police Association for her services to diversity in policing; bee expert Nicola Bradbear for services to biodiversity; John Burns founder of Burns Pet Nutrition for services to business and community in West Wales; Lynne Sanders head of Swansea Women’s Aid for services to victims of domestic abuse; and Emma Lewis chair of The Roots Foundation Wales for voluntary services to young people in Swansea.

Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said: “In this special Jubilee year, I am once again inspired by the stories of the many people from across Wales who have deservedly been recognised on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

“As well as honouring people who have excelled in sport and the arts, these awards celebrate individuals who selflessly give back to those around them, both through their work and personal lives.”