An east Belfast father is still glowing with pride after his former Grosvenor Grammar school pupil son was recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.
Andrew Lewis (37), who now lives in Los Angeles, last month received the news he was to be given the MBE for his services to UK trade and business.
His father Tom Lewis, from the Ballygowan Road area, gave the Community Telegraph an insight into Andrew’s life, where preparing meetings for British prime ministers is among his common tasks.
Speaking last week, Mr Lewis Snr, a Christian missionary, said his son “certainly doesn’t get his business skills” from him.
He said: “Andrew is consul and head of trade and investment at the British Consulate-General in LA.
“What this means is he is responsible for leading a team of 15 that helps US companies establish operations in the UK and supports UK companies looking to export and grow in the west coast of America — and he has been very successful at it.
“As parents, we are delighted and are so proud that he has been recognised in this way. He works extremely hard and has achieved so much — his trade and investment team are consistently recognised as the best in the world.”
Andrew’s parents were missionaries in eastern Europe when Andrew was born. Andrew attended school in Austria and was fluent in German by the time the family relocated back to Belfast.
He completed his school studies at the local school, Grosvenor Grammar. Mr Lewis Snr said: “We knew then that he had a talent for business.
“He went on to achieve a first class honours degree from Stirling University in marketing and worked for Europe’s largest market analysis firm.
Andrew was based in New York when 9/11 happened, after which he decided to apply for a job with the British Consulate — and he got the position.
Mr Lewis Snr said: “He worked hard and was promoted in the consulate to the position he’s in now.
“He is very humble about it though, and probably will be embarrassed that I have phoned up the paper to talk about his achievements.”
Although Andrew lives thousands of miles away from his family, Mr Lewis Snr said his son visits him regularly.
In fact, only last week Andrew came home to celebrate his 37th birthday with them.
Mr Lewis Snr added: “My wife Doreen and I have also been invited to see Andrew receive his award at Buckingham Palace in March.
“We don’t know which member of the Royal family will be giving Andrew his award. I think it is whoever is free on the day. Though we would be delighted for it to be given to Andrew by Prince Charles or Princess Anne. It would be great if the Queen was free!”