Prominent Mid Wales farmer Tom Evans, MBE, has finally received a Points of Light award presented to him at the Royal Welsh Show in 2015 by then Prime Minister David Cameron.
Tom received an envelope from Mr Cameron but, due to an oversight by the Prime Minister’s team, there was no certificate inside. The award was to recognise his outstanding contribution to agriculture, Young Farmers Clubs and the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society (RWAS).
Now, eight years later, former Royal Welsh Agricultural Society (RWAS) chief executive Steve Hughson and Brecon and Radnor MP Fay Jones have rectified the mistake.
They travelled to Tom’s Beulah home last week to present the certificate, this time signed by current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, to him.
Points of Light awards are presented by the Prime Minister to outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community.
A retired sheep farmer, Tom is renowned as the ‘voice of Welsh shearing’, having commentated for nearly 40 years at the Royal Welsh Show, the Three Counties Show and world championship shearing competitions across the globe.
He was presented with an MBE in 2020 by King Charles, who was Prince of Wales at the time, at Buckingham Palace for services to farming heritage.
At this year’s Royal Welsh Show, he launched his autobiography ‘Where the Hell’s the Time Gone: A Life in Farming’, a fascinating account of his life.
Steve only recently discovered that Tom, who has suffered ill health, had never received his Points of Light award, so set about rectifying the oversight with Ms Jones' support.
Helped by Tom’s daughter, Amanda and grandson, Greg, the pair arranged a surprise presentation at his home. Tom said he was delighted to have finally received the award from the current Prime Minister and thanked Ms Jones and Steve for rectifying this error.
He had been surprised when, on arriving home after the 2015 Royal Welsh Show in 2015, that there was no certificate enclosed, he added.
“Even an MBE and now this certificate doesn’t feel quite enough to recognise Tom’s enormous contribution to his community,” said Ms Jones. “He is a truly great man and I’m so proud to have played a tiny part in getting him his certificate.
“I have always enjoyed my chats with Tom in the market or at local shows and this meeting was no different, still full of brilliant stories and a sharp message for politicians. His book is a hilarious account of a life dedicated to farming. I am so very proud to know him and his wonderful family."
Steve added: “As former RWAS chief executive, I understand the huge contribution that Tom has made to agriculture and rural skills and simply wanted to do something for him. Getting this certificate seemed appropriate.
“Knowing Tom is an honour. Amongst his many achievements, he was instrumental in securing the future of the World Shearing Championships and he is, of course, a champion hedger, having worked alongside King Charles at Highgrove.
“I am delighted that we were able to surprise Tom with this certificate and we all offer him our very best wishes as he deals with his ongoing health issues.”