Messages of congratulations have been flooding in for a former caretaker at John Kyrle High School, and a long serving Scout leader who was recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours with a BEM.

Bryan Jones is well-known by generations of Ross youngsters as he was site manager at John Kyrle for 30 years, and was a Scout leader from the age of 18 until he retired, after a stint as District Commissioner, when he was 64.

Mr Jones started at John Kyrle as an assistant caretaker and his final project was overseeing the last big building project at the school.

In addition to his work, which brought him into contact with many youngsters, his time has been devoted to the Scout Association and several Ross-based charities.

He said he often meets people in town who remember him from school or Scouts, and he has seen the sons and daughters of his original Scouts become members. He said that he recently met up with one of his former Scouts who is now working as a fire fighter, he told Mr Jones that things he was taught in Scouts have been invaluable to his work in the fire service.

Mr Jones said he was very proud to have been recognised for his services to education and young people, and said he had always felt he was lucky to work with young people and it was very rewarding. He told the Ross Gazette that his wife, Susan, and his three children and six granddaughters were all delighted when he shared the news with them. Comments have also been posted on the Ross Gazette’s Facebook page.

Alison Sheppard wrote: “He deserves a lot more than a BEM for his service to the town.” Maureen Tweed wrote: “Great News Bryan.” And Jo Smart added: “Fantastic news Bryan, so very well deserved!”

John Kyrle High School tweeted: “Congratulations Bryan, fully deserved.”

Mr Jones’ nomination was supported by a number of people who have known the work carried out by this popular member of the Ross community.

They spoke of his years of dedicated service to the Scouting movement, in many capacities, and his involvement in the building of the Scout and Guide headquarters, of his support of the twinning of John Kyrle High School and Kisiki College in Namutumba, Uganda and of his unstinting work as site manager of John Kyrle School.

The award also acknowledges his chairmanship of Ross Almshouse Charity and Ross Relief in Need Charity and their trustees’ plans to realise assets to provide support and housing for local homeless persons, many of whom are young.

Paul Deneen OBE JP DL who has known Bryan and Sue Jones for many years said: “It was great to hear that Bryan has received recognition by this national award. It recognises the many hours of voluntary work he has undertaken across a number of areas.”

Mr Jones added that it had been hard to keep the news top secret until the announcement was made and it was a complete surprise when he first heard about it. He said: “It is an honour and a really lovely way to start the new year.”