Wales

New Year Honours: Opera singer Bryn Terfel knighted

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Media captionKnighthood for Welsh opera star Bryn Terfel

Opera singer Bryn Terfel has received a knighthood in the New Year Honours list.

The 51-year-old from Caernarfon said he was "immensely proud" to become a Sir.

Wales football manager Chris Coleman has been appointed an OBE after guiding his side to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

Olympic cyclist Elinor Barker, 22, and Paralympian Hollie Arnold, 22, were among the sports stars appointed MBEs following a summer of sporting success.

Mountain rescue volunteers, prison officers, teachers, nurses, paramedics and professors from across Wales were also honoured.

And June Thomas, who campaigned to have defibrillators installed in Welsh schools following the death of her 15-year-old son Jack, was awarded a BEM.

Internationally acclaimed bass-baritone opera singer Sir Bryn said his new title "sounds quite exciting - daunting as well".

He added: "I'm immensely proud to accept this, and I think of my family, I think of my sons, I think of my fans, I think of the great British public."

Sir Bryn started singing at eisteddfod competitions from the age of four and made his stage debut with Welsh National Opera in 1990, singing Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte.

His first international offer came from Salzburg, and since then he has appeared in all the major opera houses of the world, with music as diverse as Mozart and Wagner, Puccini and Stravinsky, winning two Grammies and four Classical Brit awards.

Sir Bryn was a strong supporter for a home for opera in Wales and since the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay opened in 2004, he has performed there many times.

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Image caption Chris Coleman led Wales to their first major football tournament in 58 years

He is also the president of homeless charity Shelter Cymru and patron of Bobath Children's Therapy Centre Wales.

"This is something I will hopefully carry with pride, and think it might help some young singers to achieve something - and to dream - and that is something very important," he said.

Elsewhere, Gerard Elias QC, Welsh Assembly standards commissioner, Prof Dai Smith, former chair of the Arts Council of Wales and father to Labour MP Owen Smith, and Cardiff University's Prof Hywel Rhys Thomas and Prof Anita Thapar were all made CBEs.

Flintshire head teacher Rosemary Jones said she was "surprised and delighted" to have been appointed an OBE in the list alongside Coleman.

The head of Ysgol Elfed High School for 10 years was honoured for her contribution for education.

Other honours include an MBE for former Football Association of Wales president Trefor Lloyd Hughes for his services to Welsh football, particularly on Anglesey.

Mr Lloyd said he was torn over whether to accept the award, saying there were people who deserved it a "lot more than me" and it "could have been anybody".

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Image caption Welsh gold medallist Hannah Mills was appointed an MBE for her services to sailing

HONOURS ROUND-UP

South East Wales: MBEs for Olympic and Paralympic stars

South West Wales: Coleman nets OBE in New Year Honours

Mid Wales: Paralympic champion awarded MBE

North East Wales: 30-year RNLI volunteer appointed MBE

North West Wales: Sir Bryn and ex-FA Wales head honoured

New Year Honours list in full

After a bumper summer of success, sporting stars were among those appointed MBEs, including Cardiff cyclist Owain Doull, who secured Wales' first gold at Rio 2016 in the team pursuit, gold medal cyclist Elinor Barker and sailing gold medallist Hannah Mills.

Brecon's Robert Davies, who added Paralympic gold to his European title in table tennis, Paralympic gold javelin thrower Hollie Arnold and Swansea-based gold Paralympic swimmer Aaron Moores were also recognised with MBEs.

Other MBEs went to Bill Owen, organiser of the Abergavenny Festival of Cycling for the last decade who was part of the team that brought the Wales National Velodrome to Newport in 2003.

Former chairman and president of Welsh Cycling, Mr Owen won the Welsh Road Race Championships in 1963.

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Media captionMr Hughes said there were more deserving people who could have got the title

Former Swansea council chief executive Jack Straw was appointed an OBE for services to local government, as were Monmouthshire council leader Peter Fox and president of Swansea West Conservatives Paul Valerio.

Ceredigion councillor William David Lyndon Lloyd and president of Age Cymru in Ceredigion said it was a "pleasure" to be made an MBE for his work.

A volunteer who rescued two children from drowning after spotting them clinging to an open kayak in St Brides Bay was appointed an MBE.

Vivienne Grey, a volunteer crew member at Little and Broad Haven RNLI, is credited with directly saving eight people's lives.

She said: "To know that, when the pagers go off, we can go to sea and make a difference to someone's life is why we volunteer and I am thankful and proud to be part of the RNLI."

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Image caption Owain Doull secured the first of 10 medals for Wales' sporting stars at the Rio Olympics
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Image caption Welsh cyclist Elinor Barker won gold in the team pursuit in her first Olympic games
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Image caption Hollie Arnold threw a world record 43.01m to win Paralympic gold in the F46 javelin final
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Image caption Aaron Moores from Trowbridge in Wiltshire, trains in Swansea and is funded by Disability Sport Wales

RNLI rescuer Martin Jones, who has attended more than 700 call-outs from the Rhyl lifeboat station, said being appointed an MBE was the "icing on the cake" after the station got a new lifeboat last month.

Mr Jones also volunteers for the RNLI Flood Rescue Team and was part of the team deployed to Cumbria during the storms of December 2015, when they helped 337 people and rescued 74 people in distress.

Other MBE appointments included Huw Lloyd Jones, deputy team leader of Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team, and Anthony Parfitt, volunteer coastguard at Mumbles, Swansea prison officer Richard Owen, and the woman behind the new deemed consent organ donation law in Wales, head of healthcare quality legislation for the Welsh Government Patricia Vernon.

BEMs were awarded to Janet Jeffries for her services to LGBT people in Wales, staff nurse at Aneurin Bevan University health Board, Theresa Thomas, and Barbara Jones, of Gwynedd, for her work for the Red Cross.

Image copyright RNLI
Image caption Mother-of-two Vivienne Grey rescued a small boy from the foot of cliffs in 2004
Image copyright Nigel Millard
Image caption Mechanic and coxswain, Martin Jones said the reward was for his family who allowed him to drop everything when the pagers go off

Welsh paramedics were recognised for their decades of service saving lives across south Wales.

Cardiff-based head of research and innovation for the Welsh Ambulance Service, Nigel Rees, and its head of driving, Andrew Challenger, based in Swansea, were awarded the Queen's Ambulance Service Medal.

Chief executive Tracy Myhill added: "They are highly deserving of the award and I am delighted that their commitment has been acknowledged in such a distinguished way."

Image copyright Welsh Ambulance Service
Image caption Nigel Rees joined the ambulance service in September 1991 as a cadet with Powys Ambulance Service

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