A Reaseheath College manager spoke of his “thrill” at being awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list.

Geoff Oakes, who retired last year after working for the Nantwich college for 35 years, received the tribute for services to Further Education.

Geoff, looking forward to his investiture, said: “This has come as a complete surprise but, of course, I am thrilled.

“I had an absolutely delightful career at Reaseheath under three different principals, all of whom have helped to push the college forward.

“It has been a real privilege to work at such a rapidly expanding and well known college.”

He was recognised as one of the leading clerks in the UK after joining the college in 1975.

He was in charge of all non teaching aspects such as marketing, publicity, finance and non teaching personnel.

Geoff became college secretary on a part-time basis in 1997 and was clerk to Reaseheath’s board of governors.

Married Geoff, from Audlem, began his career as a trainee in Cheshire County Council’s education department 47 years ago.

He was quickly promoted and became responsible for the administration of four Further Education colleges in Cheshire.

At the age of 21 he became the youngest registrar in the country when he was put in charge of all non teaching aspects of North Cheshire College in Altrincham.

He also does voluntary work in Audlem and served for 10 years as clerk to Audlem Parish Council. He has also been clerk to Hankelow and Buerton Parish Councils.

Reaseheath Principal Meredydd David said: “This is a hugely deserved accolade and honour.

“Geoff is respected hugely by those who know him, both professionally and socially.”

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