The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings


Honour for our Chairman

 We are very pleased that our Chairman, Peter Ruback, who took early retirement from his job  as Deputy Director, Local Authority Housing Finance and Decent Homes at the Department of Communities and Local Government last year, has been awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours.   The award is for his work reforming the Council Housing Finance system”.

Peter is immensely knowledgeable, and has been using  his civil service skills and diplomacy (plus a really ability to work hard and deliver) to bring us enormous benefits.  I am really enjoying working with him, and am very pleased that his career achievements have been recognised in this way. 

As we are a Society all about design, I thought you would want to see the medal he will get to wear.   Sadly I am no expert on this sort of thing, and have not been able to find out any details about who the designer was.   However its a totally C20 thing:  the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire was established as an order of chivalry   on 4 June 1917 by King George V and all five classes from OBE to to Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross, underwent major design changes in 1937. 

The ribbon is rose-pink with pearl-grey edges, (and Peter wont be getting the  additional  pearl-grey central stripe as in the picture, as that is just for members of the military).   The badge is “in the form of a cross patonce (having the arms growing broader and floriated toward the end), the obverse of which bears the same field as the star”   (which to me makes architectural terminology seem straightforward!)   For the CBE the cross is enamelled in pale blue crosses and it has a crimson ring round it.

As part of the fall out from Sir Hayden Phillips’ review of the honours system in 2004, a lapel  pin “for everyday wear”  was introduced in 2006, and is the same for every level and has to be bought for £19.50–  a step towards democratisation of the honours system that I am sure Peter would approve of!






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