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Graham Jukes collects OBE from Palace

Brian Cowan19/03/2014 - 12.00

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Graham Jukes with his OBE
Graham Jukes with his OBE

Graham Jukes, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, collected the OBE he was awarded in the New Year’s Honours list at Buckingham Palace on Friday 14 March.

The award of Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire was presented to him in the Throne Room by Prince Charles in recognition of his services to environmental health in the UK and overseas.

Each of the fifty recipients on the day waited in line for their few minutes with the heir to the throne. Mr Jukes said: ‘When my name was called I stepped forward the two paces as instructed, turned to face Prince Charles, bowed and walked to the dias. He congratulated me and we spoke for a few moments about the CIEH position on Fracking, he was extremely interested.

'He then shook my hand and wished me well on the organisation’s campaigning. I then walked backward bowed again then turned as the next recipient of an award was announced.'

Accompanied at the two-hour ceremony by his allotted three guests, his brother David, his wife Barbara and their son Harry, Mr Jukes said: ‘It was a fantastic day and it was lovely to share it with the rest of my family. After the ceremony I had a family party to share in the excitement of the day.It is fantastic to be recognised in this way and the whole day was very special.

'As a personal recognition the OBE is a wonderful thing to have, for the CIEH it is national recognition of the work that the profession does.


The awards were delivered in descending order of seniority, knighthoods, OBEs and MBEs to the military, the police, charity workers and captains of industry. Amongst those receiving their awards were, from the entertainment industry, actress Lynda Bellingham and opera singer Katherine Jenkins, who were awarded their OBEs for their charitable services.

Mr Jukes added: ‘There were so many other people present on the day and it was quite humbling to be there with all of them and to hear of  all the amazing work they had done for charity and the community, in business and in entertainment. I have to say I was more nervous about collecting the honour than I have been speaking in front of more than a thousand people.’

CEO at the CIEH since January 2000, Mr Jukes' career in environmental health now spans 43 years, commencing in local government in 1971.

Under his leadership the CIEH has played a key role in influencing campaigns on public health issues, including smoke free workplaces and tobacco control, sunbed use, food safety, nutrition and obesity, climate change and international environmental health.

Mr Jukes has been a passionate campaigner on the public health implications of climate change, leading the transformation of the CIEH’s headquarters, 15Hatfields, into a facility recognised as the UK’s leading sustainable venue.

Concluding, Mr Jukes, who has promoted the environmental health message as far afield as Mongolia and China and is the only CIEH CEO to be bestowed with the award said: ‘I could not have been recognised in this way without the support from my excellent colleagues at the CIEH, past and current presidents, chairs and trustees and of course without the support from my family.’

Prince Charles’ great grandfather George V established the OBE on 4 June 1917. The Queen has personally conducted more than 600 investitures since her first, on 27 February 1952. 

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