A former Grangecon nurse has been presented an MBE from the Queen in recognition of 47 years of service to the nursing profession.
Annette Langley (nee Tallon), who lives in Jersey, was joined by family and friends for her special day at the palace on March 23 last.
“It was very hard to take it all in. It was surreal. The Queen did the investiture. It was just magical. I arrived at ten o’clock and there were about 90 of us that were brought in to one particular part of the palace. Our guests were sitting in the state dining room. The paintings and the decor was super,” Annette told the Leinster Leader.
“You went up and you met the Queen. She was so relaxed and put everyone at ease. She said ‘what a splendid career you’ve had in nursing.’
“She even knew how many years I had been a nurse and she even recognised that over 30 of those years were with Family Nursing and Home Care Services.
“She then asked me a bit about Family Nursing. She didn’t rush through it. She spoke to everyone,” explained Annette.
The MBE recipient was joined by her husband, Wally, her son Alexander and daughter in law, Catherine. Her sister, Mai and her husband from Kent were joined by Annette’s brother, Liam and his wife Susan from Colbinstown after the ceremony.
“It was an amazing day. It is something that happens once in a lifetime,” Annette said afterwards from her home in Jersey.
The nurse is among a very select few to be so recognised when you take into account the entire population of the UK and such accolades are very rare to come by.
Last January, the Grangecon native was named in the Queen’s New Years Honours List. She was flooded with best wishes and congratulations from friends and family both in Jersey, the UK and Ireland.
Annette has dedicated her life to nursing and was honoured primarily for her work with the charitable organisation, Family Nursing and Home Care Services in Jersey.
Family Nursing and Home Care is the main provider of these services on the island of Jersey, looking after people from the cradle to the end of life.
Annette, who grew up in Grangecon, County Wicklow, attended the Presentation Convent School in Baltinglass. She is the daughter of the late John and Maureen Tallon.
She has two brothers - Sean who is married to Kathleen and lives at Royal Oaks, Co. Carlow; and Liam who is married to Susan and lives at Colbinstown Co Kildare.
Her sister Mai McFeely, who also spent her life in the nursing profession, lives in Kent with her husband Brian.
Annette left Ireland in 1964 to undertake her general nursing training in Yorkshire, followed by midwifery training in Portsmouth. In 1971 she moved to Jersey to take up a post in general nursing and met her husband Wally, whom she married in 1974. She has two children. Charlotte is married to Stevie and they have two children - Fearne (2 years) and Herbie (10 weeks). Annette’s son Alexander is married to Catherine.
Annette returned to full time nursing in 1980 where she took on the post of District Nursing Sister at Family Nursing and Home Care at a time when the organisation only employed twelve district nurses and nine health visitors.
She worked her way up the ranks to become the Clinical Service Manager with responsibility for over 200 clinical staff of health visitors, school nurses, paediatric nurses, district nurses and home care and office staff.
In 2008 she took on the role of Business Manager with overall responsibility for the business and finance of the organisation until her retirement in February 2011.
As a charity it was always necessary to raise funds for projects and vital equipment and tools to sustain patients in their own homes. Fundraising has always been a priority for the organisation and Annette would often be seen in her own time be it shaking a tin for flag days, or drumming up donations from financial and business companies, organising balls, concerts and raffles.