DR Teame Mebrahtu, an international advocate for the peaceful integration of refugees and a respected academic – who also became one of Bristol’s few black magistrates in the 1980s – has been awarded an OBE.
The award is for services to education, refugees and the Bristol community.
Dr Mebrahtu was a leading educationist in Asmara, Eritrea – then part of Ethiopia– – when he sought asylum in Britain. In 1976 he had returned to Bristol – where earlier he completed a Masters degree – to undertake a PhD. His application for refugee status was granted, followed by UK citizenship.
After completing his doctorate, Dr Mebrahtu, who lives in Bishopston, worked for 24 years at the University of Bristol Graduate School of Education.
He was invited to become a Bristol magistrate in 1984.
His commitment to the community included assisting his wife Teblez, who set up a feeding the homeless project in the city. He also spent many hours of his free time assisting his fellow refugees cope with the issues of settling into a new country. He understood the challenges they faced and sought to help them integrate with the community.
Stan chronicled Dr Mebrahtu’s life story in Long Way from Adi Ghehad, Journey of an Asylum Seeker published by Shepheard Walwyn.
A former pupil at Badminton School, Bristol, was appointed a Dame for her tremendous contribution to the voluntary and public sectors.
Dame Dianne Jeffrey is the founding Chair of Age International , a sister charity set up by Age UK that helps protect and promote the dignity and rights of people in later life in more than 40 developing countries around the world.
Dianne attended Badminton from 1957-1962 and feels strongly that her time at the school played a large part in her royal recognition: “On my arrival at Badminton in the late 1950s we were heavily involved in raising money for the Ockenden Venture, a refugee aid charity providing support for the thousands of people made homeless and without status in Europe after WWII. Started by three school mistresses in Surrey, this remarkable mission kindled my ambition and has driven me to work on behalf of disadvantaged people worldwide ever since.”
Other Bristol recipients in the New Year’s Honours were Bristol University professors John Iredale (knighted) and Ronald Hutton (CBE).
Pamela Wingfield Scull, founder of Westbury Park Dance Centre, was awarded the British Empire Medal.
Other Bristol-born people honoured were former Chancellor Sajid Javid, who was knighted, and cricketer Marcus Trescothick, who received an OBE.