Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 29 March 2015

Civic award for Sir Michael Caine

Sir Michael Caine talks to Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry before they are awarded the Freedom of the Borough of Southwark during a ceremonial presentation at St George's Cathedral, London
Sir Michael Caine talks to Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry before they are awarded the Freedom of the Borough of Southwark during a ceremonial presentation at St George's Cathedral, London

Sir Michael Caine is celebrating a "personal" award - the freedom of the borough where he grew up and made his acting debut.

The 79-year-old movie star received the honour along with other luminaries from Southwark, south London, in a ceremony at St George's Cathedral, not far from Elephant and Castle, where he grew up.

Sir Michael said: "I've received awards before, but this is so personal, because it's about where I grew up."

Asked why he thought he had been given the award, he said: "I think it's because I come from here.

"I did my first acting in a youth club here, an amateur dramatic society. I'm part of what this place is."

The Alfie and Zulu star was nominated for the award by Peter John, leader of Southwark Council, who said: "Sir Michael has been an exceptional ambassador for the place where he grew up and an example for all Southwark residents."

The honorary freedom of the borough is given to individuals or organisations in recognition of their contribution made to life there.

Others receiving the award included politicians Harriet Harman, Simon Hughes and Tessa Jowell, as well as Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry, who was awarded the Victoria Cross in 2005 for two acts of outstanding courage in Iraq the previous year.

L/Cpl Beharry, who has lived in East Dulwich for eight years, said: "The award is for my work with teenagers. When I came here from Grenada in 1999, I didn't find life easy, but decided to join the Army.

"I want to motivate and inspire young people to stay in education and stay on the right path, and am looking to set up a foundation to continue my work with teenagers."

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Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Aries:

You're highly sentimental. Listening to your favourite music from childhood or flipping through old books may cause laughter to erupt or tears to flow. Don't be ashamed to show your soft side. Although you're extremely headstrong and determined, you also have a heart of gold. Many people don't know this about you, because they're too intimidated to make friends. Fortunately, you have a group of loved ones who know the real you. Arrange to meet with your favourite people for a festive dinner.More