Postman and former military photographer 'delighted' to be included on Queen's honours list
PUBLISHED: 22:31 07 June 2019
A 'delighted' Worle postman has made it onto the Queen's birthday honours list.
Christopher Vallimae will receive a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services to the community.
A BEM is awarded for meritorious civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown.
Christohper, aged 65, has served as a part-time postman for more than 20 years and goes above and beyond his routine duties to help his customers, many of whom are elderly and live alone and value the warm hello they receive.
His round covers more than 540 homes an he routinely checks on the well-being of those with medical conditions.
In his own time he supports his elderly, sometimes vulnerable, customers to help understand their utility bills and finds reliable and trusted painters, gardeners, plumbers and electricians.
But Christopher sees this as par for the course.
He told the Mercury: "I was delighted and so was my wife when we found out, ironically we received a letter informing us and to have a lot of people write in and put me up for it is quite special.
"At the Royal Mail, you are encouraged to look in on the older folk, they ask questions and need help so I see at as my duty to be nice and go round helping them where I can and I have got to know the majority of people well over the years.
"I have been all over the world and I have lived such a varied life, so it will be fantastic to receive this honour."
For the younger members of the community, Christopher represents the postal service at play schools to explain how the system works, engaging the children with interactive activities.
During his 22-year army service earlier in life, he earned the appointment as third battalion photographer and captured significant events in history during his tours of duty in Northern Ireland and Berlin.
Christopher also taught evening classes in photography and digital image editing for eight years, as part of Weston College's further education and encouraged his elderly customers to get involved and identify with the digital world, and his students ranged in age from 19 to 90.
He also served for four years as a governor of Castle Batch Community Primary School.