The Board and Executives of Ghana Society UK (GSUK) wish to congratulate Her Worship, Maria Ampah Lovell, Mayor of Luton, on her nomination in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for the award of an MBE (Member of the British Empire).
Councillor Lovell was recognized by the Queen for her exhibition of selfless and dedicated service to the African Community in Luton, Bedfordshire, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
As an organization, we feel highly elated for this great honour which has been bestowed on our founder and chief executive. Indeed, the last two years have brought us unprecedented joy, as we have been eye-witnesses to the meteoric rise and shine of Ms Lovell.
First,in May 2019, Ms Lovell was elected as a councillor for Leagrave Ward under the Luton Borough Council. Secondly, in June 2019, she was appointed deputy mayor of Luton. Then, thirdly, in September 2020, she was appointed mayor of Luton following the resignation of Cllr. Tahir Malik over COVID-19 protocol breaches.
In ascending to the high office of mayor, Ms Lovell made history by becoming the first woman of African (Ghanaian) descent (and second black woman) to occupy the mayoral seat in Luton.
She also further made history by becoming the first mayor to be formally appointed in a virtual ceremony (due to COVID-19 restrictions).
And while we are still relishing in the achievements of Ms Lovell, this great news of her award of an MBE has now reached us from the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2021. We therefore cannot hide our excitement at the sterling accomplishments of our founder.
In 2011, when she was decorated with a Luton citizen's award, little did Ms Lovell know that it was setting the tone for the future. Today, a decade later, we congratulate her for the honour she has brought to her native Ghana and the entire African Diaspora in the United Kingdom.
By all standards, Ms Lovell is a trailblazer. She is an epitome of a determined African woman, unstoppable by the hurdles and encumbrances of life. In the last three decades, she has been committed and dedicated to promoting Ghanaian and African cultural heritage in Luton through participation in various cultural events, particularly the Luton International Carnival and Annual Kente Festival, which has awarded and celebrated several prominent Ghanaians and Africans.