A former Newsome man, Robert Lynes, has been appointed as a Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG).
The honour is in recognition of the 55-year-old’s services to strengthening the cultural and educational relations between the UK and India which can sometimes be strained. He is now Director UK for the British Council.
Robert Christopher Lynes, son of Hubert and Pat Lynes, was born in Newsome and was a pupil at Berry Brow Junior School and King James’ Grammar School, Almondbury.
After leaving there he studied Russian and Polish and has an MA in Applied Linguistics from Lancaster University.
He spent six years in the 1980s working in Berlin as a linguist in the Royal Air force, before moving to Budapest, Hungary where he was Executive Director of International House.
He joined the British Council in 1996 and has spent the last 20 years working in a number of senior roles in the UK and overseas including postings in Saudi Arabia, Poland, regional director Middle East, based in the UAE, deputy director global operations and lately country director India.
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, working with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society.
During his time in India Mr Lynes helped expand the number of cultural and educational ties between the UK and India and cultivated a better understanding between the two countries.
He was instrumental in establishing the UK/India Year of Culture 2017, which will celebrate a major year of cultural exchange.
Mr Lynes said: “At a time when the UK seeks to forge a new place in the world, building cultural and educational links with other countries is essential.
“Our relationships with countries like India are ever more important and we need to provide more opportunities for young people to experience and understand other cultures.
“I feel very humbled to receive this honour.
“I have been fortunate to work with thousands of extraordinary people around the world who do an amazing job strengthening the UK’s cultural, educational and international ties with countries, organisations and people around the world.”
Mr Lynes is married to Marta and they live in Edinburgh. The couple have two daughters, Hannah, 25, who graduated from Oxford and is now working in law and Laura who is 22 and is studying English Literature at Edinburgh University. His father was a former councillor and businessman in Huddersfield.