Friday, 3 April 2015

Reigate woman meets the Queen - picture

Reigate resident attends Queen’s reception at Buckingham Palace, to mark the 50th anniversary of The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust

Grace Filby, a Churchill Fellow of 2007 from Reigate, Surrey, attended a reception at Buckingham Palace, hosted by Her Majesty The Queen on 18th March.
Her Majesty The Queen, who is patron of The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, hosted the event to mark its 50th anniversary as Sir Winston’s living legacy.
Since 1965, over 5000 British citizens have been awarded Churchill Fellowships, from over 100,000 applicants, to travel overseas to study areas of topical and personal interest. The knowledge and innovative ideas they bring back are shared, for the benefit of their profession, their community, and, in lots of cases, the nation. For many people, a Churchill Fellowship proves transformational, and they go on to achieve great things - effecting positive change within society.
Grace went on her Fellowship in 2007 to the Former Soviet Union (Republic of Georgia) and Poland, as well as the USA and Canada to investigate the health value of bacteriophages.

As she explained in the commemorative booklet, phages are natural waterborne viruses that attack bacteria. Whilst their application is still obscure in the UK, Grace affirms that phage therapy has great potential in the fight against antibiotic resistance.
She says “the Anniversary Reception was an exciting and unforgettable event, with so many amazing people to meet and chat to about their Fellowships and what they have achieved since. As time rushed by, I suddenly realised I hadn’t yet been to meet our host, Her Majesty the Queen. Luckily I was whisked in to be presented to her and the Duke of Edinburgh, with the advantage of not even having to stand in line, so not a minute was wasted! Just one or two people knew that I had, all the while, brought a couple of tiny vials of phage medicine from the Former Soviet Union in my bag, for the sake of posterity. They are perfectly harmless. Considering it is exactly 100 years since phages were discovered by a Surrey microbiologist, I thought it was about time they got some official recognition in the UK.”

245 Fellows from every decade since 1965 represented the Trust at the reception, as well as representatives from The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust in Australia, and the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States.
To mark its semi centennial, The Trust has just awarded a record number of 150 Travelling Fellowships – investing at least £1.3m in British citizens. This year’s Fellows will travel to 58 countries between them, across six continents, where they will carry out a wide range of projects. The average length of a Fellowship is 6 weeks.
Many events are being held throughout the year to celebrate Sir Winston’s life and legacy.
“We were delighted and honoured that the Queen hosted a reception to mark our anniversary year. Sir Winston’s legacy lives on through our Fellows – individuals who, like him, have vision, leadership, a passion with a purpose, and a commitment to help their fellow citizens” says Jamie Balfour, Director General of The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.
For an official photograph of Grace speaking with the Queen go to: