Five new Deputy Lieutenants of Kent have been appointed, each of them honoured for their positive contributions to the County and the Nation. They are Mr Paul Auston (Ashford); Mr Geoff Miles (Shepway); Mr Ben Moorhead (Shepway); Lieutenant Colonel Brian O’Gorman (Dover); and Mrs Georgie Warner (Tunbridge Wells).
Mr Paul Auston is the founder and Chairman of Checkmate Group, a safety and engineering company based in Kent (it also operates from 2 other factories, one in the UK (Wiltshire) and one in Vietnam. Checkmate is a proud recipient of three coveted Queen’s Awards for Business in the categories of Innovation and Enterprise.
Mr Auston has also served as Trustee and then Chairman of Demelza House, a children’s hospice based in Kent, Sussex and South East London for 6 years. On retiring he was elected Vice President.
He is a trustee of The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund based in Portsmouth and is actively involved in raising funds and awareness in the wider community of the needs of families and children, “The forgotten casualties of conflict”.
He also serves on the development group raising funds for the restoration of Canterbury Cathedral.
Mr Geoff Miles has been working in television for over 40 years. In 2002, Mr Miles formed Dovedale Associates Ltd. a consortium of local businessmen, who now own and operate the Maidstone Television Studios.
In July 2009, he received the first Kent Excellence in Business Award for outstanding Contribution to the Business Community of Kent and in 2012 he was awarded an honorary MA from the University of the Creative Arts.
He is Chairman of the Kent and Medway Economic Partnership and its Business Advisory Board, vice chair of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, a Director of the Kent Music School, Chairman of the Kent Excellence in Business Awards and a Kent Ambassador.
Mr Ben Moorhead has lived in Kent for over 50 years. He is a Solicitor and Senior Partner of a law firm in the City of London specialising in Company Law, Corporate Finance, Charities and also Sports Law.
He is a Trustee of a number of Charities including The Mountbatten Memorial Trust, the Canterbury Cathedral Trust, The Scottish Wildcat Association, Regain – the Trust for Sports Tetraplegics and L’Arche (working with the mentally impaired).
He is a Board Member of the Kent County Cricket Club, British Universities and Colleges Sport and The Clay Pigeon Shooting Association (both National Governing Bodies of Sport).
He is Chairman of the Wye Future Group (environmental) and a Governor of Wellesley House School in Broadstairs.
Lieutenant Colonel Brian O’Gorman has lived in Temple Ewell, Dover for the last 17 years. He was a career soldier, having commissioned into the Irish Guards from Sandhurst in 1968, retiring in 2002.
His career took him world-wide including postings to Northern Ireland, the United States of America, Belgium and Saudi Arabia. He was responsible for all the military firing ranges, training areas and camps in Kent which to led his family deciding to settle in the county.
Latterly, he has been responsible for emergency planning for London, on behalf of the military, and Regimental Adjutant of the Irish Guards, including responsibility for regimental welfare. In retirement, he remains engaged with a number of military charities.
Mrs Georgie Warner has lived in Brenchley since 1984. Her career has been spent working with antique furniture and she runs her own antique sourcing business. For the past 25 years, Mrs Warner has worked in the charity sector and is a past Chairman of the national charity Gardening for Disabled Trust.
Mrs Warner was High Sheriff of Kent for 2011-12. She is a Trustee of Kent Community Foundation, a Trustee of Rochester Cathedral Trust, a Kent Ambassador and a Patron of Hadlow College.
Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle MBE said: “We welcome these new Deputy Lieutenants, whose wide experience will further add to a strong team of men and women who help me support HM The Queen and her family within the ceremonial county of Kent”
- The Lieutenancy of Kent consists of the Lord-Lieutenant, Vice Lord- Lieutenant, and a maximum of 70 other Deputy Lieutenants, approximately one per 25,000 people.
- The office dates back to Tudor times and was originally responsible for the County’s local defence and maintenance of order. The role of the Lieutenancy is entirely non-political and unpaid.
- Deputy Lieutenants come from all walks of life and all parts of the County. Their local and specialist knowledge and experience is used to positive effect in key areas ranging from education to youth services, and from the Volunteer Reserve Forces to business and the rural economy.
- Duties include greeting and accompanying Royalty and Heads of State during official visits to the County, the presentation of honours and awards on behalf of the Crown, and participation in Citizenship ceremonies.
- They advise on events potentially warranting Royal visits, on how local people can put forward others suitable for honours and on anniversaries warranting a message from The Queen. They also advise on how community organisations can gain recognition in The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Scheme.