‘I am pleased to announce the award of a BEM (British Empire Medal) to Mr Dereck Rogers, in recognition of his services to the community of Tristan da Cunha.
‘Having commenced work in the Agriculture Department at the age of 14, some 43 years ago, and at the age of 19 becoming the first Tristanian Head of Department, Dereck’s work as the Island’s only Vet for the past 32 years has been an essential role in this remote community which relies heavily on agriculture for its survival. His work in maintaining a healthy and productive breeding stock through good husbandry practices has ensured self sustainability of the community into the future. As the Island’s only Vet, Dereck was quite often required to work 24 hours in a day, having to juggle his various responsibilities and over the years he has been able to establish his own veterinary care unit.
‘The development of horticulture has also featured in Dereck’s work, attending to the Island’s fresh produce in an adverse environment, battling poor growing conditions and invasive species. His work has included working with the younger generation, teaching them to have an understanding of the environment and horticulture and its importance to the community.
‘Dereck has also acted as a Lay Minister for the Catholic Church for over 30 years, helping to raise funds for the construction of the Island’s first Catholic Church in the early 1980s, and he was also a member of the Tristan Island Council for a number of years.
‘Through his services to the Island, Dereck has become a well respected member of the community and I am sure you will join me and the people of Tristan da Cunha in congratulating Dereck on this well deserved award.’
Sean G P Burns
St Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha
12 June 2015