Mike Heylin OBE was at Buckingham Palace recently to collect his award from HRH The Prince of Wales. He was made OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List last year. Accompanied by his wife, Eileen, son Alex and daughter Jenny, they enjoyed a day out in the cold and wet of a wintery London.
Michael’s award was for services to angling over an extended period including his time as Chairman of Angling Trust during its formative years, where he helped stabilise the finances and set sound financial controls in place, being secretary of Boxmoor & District Angling Society, where he introduced an open membership model and training for anglers wishing to fish for specific species, secretary of the Colne Valley Fisheries Consultative, which he resurrected after a long period with no activity and which now is fighting many battles for angling, not least of which are local planning applications, HS2, the lower Thames Flood Relief Scheme and the proposed extension to Heathrow Airport.
He was secretary to the Specialist Anglers Alliance and is currently secretary to the Fish Welfare Group, a member of the Predation Action Group, chairman of the Angling Trust Marine Conservation and Access Group, chairman of the European Anglers Alliance Sea Sub Group and a board member of EAA. He continues to volunteer for Angling Trust as a Vice President and is both a committee member of Fish Legal and a director of the ACA Trustee Co Ltd.
Mike first fished aged four and is an all-round angler fishing for pike in the winter, tench in the summer, trout and salmon when he can and regularly goes sea fishing from Leigh on Sea. Recently retired he has fished in Canada, Cuba and South Africa as part of family holidays.
He said, “It was a great honour to be at the palace to receive this award. It was great to share it with those closest to me and without whom I could not have done any of this for angling and fisheries. I hope to do more for fisheries and angling in the future but at a slightly slower pace than in the past, which has been very demanding. I would like to thank all my friends in angling and outside who have sent such kind messages about me and this award. It was a great honour that angling was recognised again by the honours system and this award really belongs to all those club secretaries and officers who unstintingly give of their time so that others can just go fishing.”