A former Mayor of Enfield, ME sufferer Nadia Conway, was made an MBE in the New Year's honours.
Mrs Conway has held voluntary posts in the civic life of her borough for 30 years. Born in Prague, she was on holiday in Britain when Soviet tanks took over her Czechoslovakia homeland in 1968 and she decided to remain over here.
She told the Enfield Independent newspaper: “I totally and utterly learned as I went along. I wanted to give something back to the country which had adopted me.”
Mrs Conway was a Conservative Hadley Wood councillor from 1986 to 1994, and Mayor in 1993-4, raising money for youth charities including Chickenshed Theatre, while her husband David secured a grant to set up a second Chickenshed Theatre in St Petersburg.
She is also governor of Wolfson-Hillel School in Southgate and chair of governors of Alma School, Ponders End.
She said: “The most special thing is to be a school governor. You just get so much feedback from the kids.”
The couple now live in Grange Park and have three children and three grandchildren. Together they have restored a historic house in a town in Slovaki.