29 December 2023
HE Governor Nigel Phillips CBE is pleased to announce the following New Year 2024 Honours Award as endorsed by His Majesty The King, and to be published in the Overseas and International Honours list on Saturday 30 December 2023:
- A British Empire Medal (BEM) to Dr Jonathan Hollins, Veterinary Surgeon (retired), for services to veterinary science and animals on St Helena.
Dr Hollins worked on St Helena as a full time Senior Veterinary Officer for more than nine years up until his retirement in February 2022. Dr Hollins delivered a professional service to the Veterinary and Agricultural section of the Environmental, Natural Resources & Planning (ENRP) Directorate, providing care to a wide range of animals from domestic pets and livestock to bees and Jonathan the 191-year-old tortoise and world’s oldest living land animal.
Dr Hollins contributed to a number of reforms and developments which included training and advising local paravets, pet owners and agricultural producers, helping to redraft a range of animal related legislation, establishing biosecurity protocols for the importation of pets and livestock via sea and air freight, researching and identifying prevalent veterinary conditions for the creation of a reference database, and ensuring that veterinary services remained affordable to the local community.
Once retired, Dr Hollins continued to provide an emergency veterinary service during the period the island was without a qualified vet. Dr Hollins was highly valued, trusted and appreciated by the local community for his skill, knowledge and professionalism.
In addition to providing a veterinary service, Dr Hollins voluntarily served on a number of local charitable committees on St Helena. He was also instrumental in promoting St Helena as a tourism destination through a book publication and articles in international media, including BBC radio, on his time as a vet on St Helena.
Dr Hollins commented:
‘It is truly a great honour and privilege to receive this award for my work on the Island of St Helena. But just as the hands of a clock cannot tell the time without the wheels and cogs that turn them, I would have struggled to achieve what I believe we have achieved without the unstinting loyalty of the veterinary team and the enabling attitudes of my managers, to all of whom I am deeply indebted. My thanks also go out to the Saints, as I consider myself extremely fortunate to have plied my profession on such a friendly and fascinating island.’