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The honour of a lifetime

Most people would think it special to be recognised once for service to their country, so Margaret Miller's achievement in earning two British Empire Medals is remarkable.

The award for notable service to civic society is bestowed personally by the Queen, who first handed Glaswegian Mrs Miller the so-called Bar award in 1989, for work she did founding a charity for stroke sufferers.

Now 103, Mrs Miller is to be recognised again having continued the work of her Lightburn Harmony Club in the intervening quarter of a century since her first medal, as well as providing a lifetime's service to the Royal Voluntary Service.

When she started out, she recalls, those recovering from a stroke were often stigmatised, and their families ashamed of the situation many were left in by their condition.

One consultant, a pioneer of modern genetics, asked her to help do something for them, describing the patients as "forgotten people".

That has changed: advances in medicine and social attitudes have changed the perception of stroke sufferers and their medical outlook beyond measure. Thankfully Mrs Miller's extraordinary contribution has not been forgotten either.

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