The Queen has bestowed a special honour on a Boston man in recognition of his service to St Botolph Church and the local community
Michael Haynes, 78, of Park Road, was handed Maundy Money by theQueen at the Royal Maundy Service.
The service – which commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles– sees Her Majesty commemorating the religious festival by offering ‘alms’ to retired pensioners recommended by clergy and ministers of all denominations.
Mr Haynes was one of 90 men and 90 women – one for each of the Queen’s 90 years – to receive two purses, one red and one white.
The Red Purse contained a £5 coin, commemorating The Queen’s ninetieth birthday, and a 50p coin commemorating the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings - historically, the sum of £5.50 is made up of £3 for clothing, £1.50 in lieu of provisions and £1 for the redemption of the Sovereign’s gown which, before Tudor times, used to be divided between the recipients.
The White Purse contains uniquely-minted ‘Maundy Money’ which this year included 90 pennies of silver coins (nine sets of 10p per set) adding up to the Queen’s age.
Mr Haynes, who recently stepped down after completing 10 years as the church warden, said he was shocked when he received the letter from Buckingham Palace.
He said: “It makes you sit up.”
“It’s a privelege really,” he added.
Mr Haynes, who has been an adult scout for 60 years and works with the fifth Boston St Botolph’s Scouts, wore his uniform to the ceremony.
Mr Haynes described how the event, at St George’s Chapel, was very well organised, with the Queen presenting the money to all the recipients within about an hour.
He added that ‘she hadn’t time to speak’ and all the recipients could say was ‘thank you ma’am’.
He said: “She was brilliant. She was all smiles and was obviously, I would say, quite happy and enjoying the action.”