IT has been a year in which Brexit has overshadowed the lives of many British nationals in Spain.
There has also been rising gang violence on the Costa del Sol, while the Costa Blanca and Murcia have been battered by floods.
Meanwhile, the British Ambassador to Spain Simon Manley has been replaced by Hugh Elliott.
Most recently the Costa del Sol has seen the tragic deaths of a British-American family who drowned in a swimming pool.
But the year – and decade – have ended on a positive note, with nine Brits being recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honour list.
The services these honours recipients perform stretch from business to community work, and of course, charity.
Elliott said: “It is extraordinary to see nine British nationals awarded at the same time – a real testament to the depth and diversity of the UK-Spain relationship and to the contribution that so many British nationals make to their communities across Spain.”
Among those to bag a medal was Christopher Dottie, President of the British Chamber of Commerce, Spain.
The managing director of Hays España won an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for serving British businesses in Spain
“Chris provides exceptional leadership for the UK business community in Spain,” said Elliott.
“On his watch he has enabled the Chamber to transform from an expat business network into a strong and effective representative of business, a public advocate for UK-Spain commercial relations and the source of respected research and analysis.
“We are indebted to him for his support for our vibrant business relationship.”
Veronica Wheeler, President of the British Benevolent Association (BBA) of Girona also won the BEM (British Empire Medal) for services to Brits overseas.
The ex-nurse became an expat in 2004 and has devoted her time in Spain to her community on the Costa Brava.
“I feel very honoured to receive this award, which, I feel, recognises the input of all the volunteers and members of the British Benevolent Association in Girona Province in providing help and support to UK citizens in the area,” she said.
The full list of Brits on the Diplomatic Service And Overseas list is as follows:
An MBE to Mr Mark Petrie, Honorary Consul, Denia, Spain. ‘For services to British Nationals Overseas.’
An MBE to Dr Charles Betty, Charity and Community Worker in Spain; retired. ‘For services to British Nationals Overseas.’
An MBE to Mr Christopher Mark Dottie, President, British Chamber of Commerce, Spain. ‘For services to British business in Spain.’
A British Empire Medal (BEM) to Mrs Christine (Krista) Ann Hyer, President, Cancer support Group, Mallorca. ‘For services to the British Nationals Overseas.’
A BEM to Mr Brian Thomas McLeod, Entertainer, Spain. ‘For services to charity.’
A BEM to Mrs Betty Burgess, volunteer, Las Palmas, Spain. ‘For services to British Nationals Overseas.’
A BEM to Mrs Maureen Payne, President, Age Concern, Costa Blanca Sur, Alicante, Spain. ‘For services to British Nationals Overseas.’
A BEM to Mrs Sheila Stuart, Chairperson, British Ladies Association, Madrid, Spain. ‘For services to British Nationals Overseas.’
A BEM to Mrs Veronica Wheeler, President, British Benevolent Association of Girona, Spain. ‘For services to British Nationals Overseas.’