Posted on 5 June 2002
Other recipients include the inventor of the Personal Organiser, David Potter, sculptor and stone carver, Dick Reid, and campaigners Philippa Russell, Director of the Council for Disabled Children, and His Royal Highness, Prince Hassan of Jordan, who is Chairman of the Hashemite Charity Organisation.
Professor Eric Brown is a former Professor of Geography at University College London and a leading authority on geomorphology. Renowned for his studies of the landscapes of many regions, including Brazil, Argentina and North America, he is a former Vice-President of the Royal Geographical Society and president of the Institute of British Geographers. He was also a much-respected Dean of Students at University College London, where one of his most promising students was York's Vice-Chancellor, Ron Cooke.
Berwick Kaler, a household name and family favourite in York for his annual portrayal of the pantomime dame at York Theatre Royal, may be recognised by those elsewhere for his television roles in 'Auf Wiedersehn Pet', 'Spender', 'The Bill', 'Byker Grove' and 'Grafters'. But he is a legend in York for the Christmas pantomimes he writes and stars in. The ludicrous antics, York jokes and ad libbing have made the pantomime an immoveable fixture for generations of York families. He can also be seen this Christmas in York in Babbies in the Wood.
Prince El Hassan bin Talel of Jordan is Chairman of the Jordan Hashemite Charity organisation and a member of numerous international bodies concerned with human rights, inter-faith dialogue, economic co-operation and culture. An abiding theme of his international work is that of co-existence and conflict resolution. He has made many contributions to the study and practice of humanitarian assistance and development and has been a keen supporter of York's Post-War Reconstruction and Development Unit.
Dr Tom Little is the former Head of Unilever's Colworth Laboratory, one of the company's principal research sites. He was a major force in promoting high-quality food-related research at Unilever, on national research bodies and through EU initiatives. His belief in the fundamental importance of academic research to wealth creation made him instrumental in a number of research initiatives across the UK, including a number at York. He was awarded a CBE in 1996 for services to the food industry.
Dr David Potter, Chairman of Psion, may be best-known for his invention of the electronic Personal Organiser. A former university teacher, he saw earlier than most the potential of the micro-chip, and established Psion as a provider - initially - of software, especially computer games. A South African by birth, David Potter is active in educational charities in the region, especially the Canon Collins Educational Trust.
Dick Reid is an architectural sculptor and carver who has run a successful and internationally-known business in York since 1958. He has worked tirelessly to revive and foster the work of carvers and stonemasons and encourage young people to enter the profession. His own studio employs 13 people, including apprentices. Their work includes new work at home and abroad and conservation work in historic houses and churches. He is a Trustee of the Prince of Wales's Institute of Architecture and a past President of the Master Carvers' Association.
Philippa Russell is Director of the Council of Disabled Children and a campaigner for over 30 years for improvements in social, educational and health services for disabled children and their families. She is an advocate of a holistic approach to the needs of disabled children and has been hugely influential in both policy and practice. Formal national recognition of her contributions have come in the form of an OBE in 1988 and a CBE in 2001. In 1992, she was awarded the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Centenary Award for her contribution to the field of learning disability.
Penelope Wilton is an actress renowned for her versatility - she is well-known for theatre, film and television performances. She played Wendy Woods in the South African epic film Cry Freedom and revealed her comic gifts in TV series such as Ever Decreasing Circles and as in the children's television production of The Borrowers. Her career has included first performances of many new roles for major playwrights, especially Harold Pinter, and wide classical experience in Shakespeare, Chekhov and Ibsen plays.