Top honour for RAFA chair

Sudbury RAFA chairman Ray Smith (left) with Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller. ANL-161105-103731001
Sudbury RAFA chairman Ray Smith (left) with Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller. ANL-161105-103731001
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The chairman of Sudbury Royal Air Forces Association has been awarded a National RAFA certificate.

On Friday, Ray Smith, a Babergh district councillor and former mayor of Sudbury, was given the National Presidential Certificate for services rendered during his nine years as the president of the Sudbury branch.

Sudbury RAFA chairman Ray Smith has been awarded a National RAFA Certificate. Ray (centre) with Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller (left) and branch president Air Marshal Sir John Kemball (right) ANL-161105-103855001

Sudbury RAFA chairman Ray Smith has been awarded a National RAFA Certificate. Ray (centre) with Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller (left) and branch president Air Marshal Sir John Kemball (right) ANL-161105-103855001

Awarding the certificate were two Air Marshals, as RAFA National President Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller was joined by branch president Air Marshal Sir John Kemball.

Surrounded by friends, family and branch members, Mr Smith was handed his award in the Mayor’s Parlour in Sudbury Town Hall.

Serving in the RAF from 1952-1957, Mr Smith has helped transform the branch.

“It was a complete surprise,” said Mr Smith. “I thought it was my lads winding me up until I got a call from headquarters.

Sudbury RAFA chairman Ray Smith has been awarded a National RAFA Certificate in conjunction with the 2016 New Year's Honours List for services rendered. ANL-161105-103907001

Sudbury RAFA chairman Ray Smith has been awarded a National RAFA Certificate in conjunction with the 2016 New Year's Honours List for services rendered. ANL-161105-103907001

“It means everything, not just to me but to the branch and the area and Sudbury as a whole.”

During the award presentation Mr Smith spoke about when he first took over the club and how since, with the efforts of all the members, the club had gone from raising £500 a year for the Wings Appeal to raising £5,000 and sometimes more.

Praising Mr Smith, Wings Appeal organiser and standard bearer for the branch, Mike Marsh, said the award was a celebration of the whole branch’s efforts.