Educators, fundraisers, lifesavers, entertainers and the man who gave his name to the “God particle” have all been recognised in the New Year’s Honours List.
Newcastle-born physicist Professor Peter Higgs, who theorised the existence of the eponymous Higgs.
Boson, receives the highest level of commendation of anyone in the North East, becoming a companion of the Order of Bath.
Jeremy Beeton, the director general of the Government Olympic Executive, from Staindrop, County Durham, joins him for his services to the London 2012 games.
Born in Newcastle in 1929, Professor Peter Higgs was earlier this year proved right after a 40-year search for the fabled “God particle”, the Higgs Boson finally proved it does exist.
A spokesman for the University of Edinburgh, with which he is an emeritus professor, said: “We are delighted Professor Higgs has been honoured. It is a well-deserved testament to the impact of his work and the influence he is already having on the next generation of physicists.”
Leaders in other fields are also recognised, with outgoing Northern Stage chief executive Erica Whyman made an OBE. John Fenwick, deputy chairman of city department store owners Fenwick Limited is made a CBE.
And there are honours for some of the region’s top doctors too, with Professor Gary Ford made a CBE for services to stroke research while Dr Richard Pattman is made an MBE for his work in genito-urinary medicine in the North East.
But many of the awards are also handed out to people who have made a long-term impact on their local communities.
Dance school founders Gillian Quinn (MBE) and Hazel Rayson (British Empire Medal) are both recognised for their services to dance.
“I was a bit taken aback when I received the letter telling me,” said Hazel, 68, who has a school in Ryton, Gateshead.
“I don’t think I’ll quite believe it until I see my name written down alongside everyone elses.
“It’s nice to have my work recognised by people in the community – though I don’t know who it was that nominated me.”
Tynedale Amateur Swimming Club coach Christine Hall receives a BEM after more than two decades teaching children to swim.
“I’m really surprised,” she said. “I’m just really proud to have been even put forward for it.
“Like most parents my children started swimming and then one night I asked if they wanted any help.
“Within a few months the coach left and myself and another mum took over.
“We started by doing one hour on one night a week – now nearly 25 years later we do three nights and four mornings. It’s quite a commitment but it’s worth it. Whatever the level of swimming it has to be fun but it also gives great discipline for life.
“The one legacy that I’ll always be really proud of is that when Tynedale council built a new swimming pool, they wanted a five lane leisure pool but we campaigned for it to be six lane and competition standard.
“We won and it has been really great for the area.”
FULL ROUND-UP OF THOSE HONOURED FROM THE REGION
Order of the Bath CB (Companion)
Jeremy John Beeton. Director-general, Government Olympic Executive. For services to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. (Staindrop)
Professor Peter Ware Higgs. Emeritus professor of theoretical physics, University of Edinburgh. For services to Physics. (Edinburgh, born in Newcastle)
Order of the British Empire CBE (Commander)
John James Fenwick. Deputy chairman, Fenwick Ltd. For services to the retail business. (Newcastle)
Professor Gary Ashley Ford. Director, UK Stroke Research Network and clinical director, Newcastle University. For services to research in stroke medicine. (Newcastle)
Mrs Angela Mary O’Donoghue. Formerly principal, City of Sunderland College. For services to further education. (Billericay, Essex)
Leslie Howard Walton, OBE. Formerly chairman, the Young People’s Learning Agency. For services to education. (Newcastle)
Roger Kelly. Former chief executive, Gateshead Council. For services to local government and the community in Gateshead and the North East. (Bishop Auckland)
Dr Robert McManners, DL. For services to the Heritage of the North East and to the community in Bishop Auckland, County Durham. (Bishop Auckland)
Jennifer Saunders. Chief executive, National Energy Action. For services to the fuel poor and voluntary service through the Chesshire Lehmann Fund. (Newcastle)
Norma Stephenson. President, Unison and member, National Executive Committee, Labour Party. For public and political service. (Durham)
Erica Whyman. Chief executive, Northern Stage. For services to theatre in the UK. (Newcastle)
Janet Susan Bridges. Principal, Castle View Enterprise Academy, Sunderland. For services to education. (Sunderland)
David Grant Downie. Head, sports medicine, Manchester City Academy. For services to physiotherapy in sport and to young people. (Darlington)
Anne Ganley. Managing director, Thompson’s Builders’ and Plumbers’ Merchants. For services to the builders’ merchants industry and to charity. (Sunderland)
Ruth Abrahams. For services to the voluntary and community sector in Newcastle. (Newcastle)
Timothy Arthur Bird. Social fund manager, Jobcentre Plus. For services to job seekers with mental health Issues and voluntary service to Seaview Primary School. (South Shields)
John Burton, DL. For political and voluntary service to the community in Sedgfield, County Durham. (Dunton Green, Kent)
Katherine Copeland. Rower, lightweight women’s double scull. For services to rowing. (Durham)
Councillor Linda Green. Member, Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council. For services to the community in Tyne and Wear (Gateshead)
Fiona Hall. Member of the European Parliament for UK North East and leader, Liberal Democrats Euro-MPs. For public and political service. (Alnwick)
Josef Craig. Swimmer. For services to Paralympic sport. (Jarrow)
Lily Van Den Broecke. Cox. For services to rowing and Paralympic sport. (Durham)
Stephen Mark I’Anson. Entrepreneur and Pro-Chancellor, Newcastle University. For services to entrepreneurship, community engagement and higher education. (Hexham)
Christine Jackson. Girl Guide leader, Crook, County Durham. For services to children and young people. (Crook)
Florence Mary Kirkby. Vice-chairman, Association of School and College Leaders Associates Committee. For services to education. (Newcastle)
Jill Love. Creative director, Silver Programme, The Sage Gateshead. For services to music in the community. (Whitley Bay)
Col John Robert (Ian) Mackenzie, TD. For voluntary service to St John Ambulance in Northumbria. (Whitley Bay)
Doreen Jacqueline Miller-Charlton. Board member, Miller Ltd. For services to industry and to international trade. (Washington, )
George William Ottowell. For services to the community in Easington Colliery (Peterlee)
Dr Richard Stewart Pattman. Consultant in genito-urinary medicine, Newcastle Primary Care Trust. For services to genito-urinary medicine in the North East. (Newcastle)
Gillian Barbara Mary Anderson Quinn. Founder, Gillian Quinn School of Theatre Dance.For services to dance. (North Shields)
Adrian Ruddle. Prison Officer, HM Young Offenders’ Institute, Deerbolt. For services to HM Prison Service and the care of prisoners. (Darlington)
Enid Millicent Scaife. For services to the community in Sadberge, Durham. (Darlington)
Jennifer Swanson. Officer, support team manager, large business service, Newcastle, HM Revenue and Customs. For services to the tax system and voluntary service to children. (Blyth)
Marilyn Wright. lately head of HR and facilities, One North East. For services to business in the North East. (Ashington)
British Empire Medal BEM
Carol Ann Carr. Formerly senior tutor, College of St Hild and St Bede, Durham University. For services to higher education and student support. (Durham)
Christine Hall. Head coach, Tynedale Amateur Swimming Club. For services to swimming. (Hexham, Northumberland)
James William Mole. For services to the community in Ford, Northumberland. (Cornhill-on-Tweed)
Robert James Oliver. Porter, Dove Marine Laboratory, University of Newcastle and Coxswain, Cullercoats Lifeboat. For services to higher education and to the community of Cullercoats. (North Shields)
Hazel Rayson. Dance teacher and founder, Hazel Rayson Theatre Dance School. For services to dance in the Tyneside area. (Blaydon)
Michelle Thompson. For services to charity and to the community in Darlington, Durham. (Darlington)
Rosalynde Walker. Co-founder, North East Promenaders Against Cancer. For charitable services to people with cancer. (Newcastle)
Robert Watson. For services to the community in Chester- le-Street Durham. (Chester-le-Street)