Thursday, August 07, 2008

Brit Dato'

Top award from a former king

A DORCHESTER man is celebrating after being awarded a Malaysian knighthood by the former King of Malaysia.

Ron Kirby was given the honour for handling the Sultan of Kedah's affairs in Great Britain for the past 30 years.

He received his award during an investiture at the palace of the state ruler, who was celebrating his golden jubilee.

Media and public relations consultant Mr Kirby said: "I have been greatly honoured by this award.

"The Sultan, who is the former King of Malaysia, told me I am the first Briton to receive the Datoship from the State of the Kedah since the Sultanate was founded in 1136."

Mr Kirby travelled to Malaysia with wife Carole, a teacher at the Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester, for the special ceremony.

He was among some 72 others being recognised for giving invaluable services to the Sultan, the State of Kedah and Malaysia.

The list included well-known Malaysian personalities from government, the industrial world and the royal household as well as sporting figures and social activists.

Mr Kirby has been connected with the State of Kedah for three decades, carrying out various projects for the Sultan in this country.

He acted as a guardian for the former King of Malaysia's two daughters, Princess Intan and Princess Soraya, during their secondary and university education in England.

Mr Kirby, of Mellstock Avenue, will now be known as Dato (Sir) Ron Kirby in Malaysia and can add the letters DSDK after his name.

In 1995 he was handed an OBE for promoting professional engineering in Great Britain and across Europe, while he was The Engineering Council's director of public affairs.

The Sultan of Kedah's private secretary Dato Syed Unan Mashri congratulated Mr Kirby on his accolade.

He said: "Ron Kirby has been a loyal friend to His Royal Highness for more than 30 years.

"In addition to handling HRH's personal affairs in Great Britain, including being guardian to the two princesses, he fostered and promoted greater understanding between Malaysia and Great Britain when he was director of public affairs at the British Engineering Council."


*Mat Salleh ni kerja, berjasa selama lebih 30 tahun dgn Sultan Kedah baru lah diberi award Dato'. Kalau orang Malaysia sendiri umur baru 30-an dah sibuk cari jalan macam mana nak beli Datukship sebab nak ada title kat nama so senang business. Mat Salleh ni memang lawak untuk dapat award ni compare dgn beribu-ribu lagi datuk/dato' yang ada kat Malaysia ni. To Dato' Ron Kirby and Datin Carole, congratulation. To Sultan Kedah, Daulat Tuanku!

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