Thursday, July 19, 2001



Sir Edward Heath has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Greenwich on Wednesday, July 18.

The Chancellor of the University of Greenwich, the Rt Hon the Lord Holme of Cheltenham CBE,  conferred the degree at a ceremony in the Old Royal Naval College Chapel. Sir Edward wore a formal gown of blue and gold damask silk and a Tudor-style academic bonnet in gold silk.

Professor Rick Trainor, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich, made the traditional eulogy of praise to Sir Edward. He said: "Sir Edward, acutely aware from his youth of profound challenges to democracy, has for more than six decades dedicated himself, with very considerable effect, to enhancing the democratic process both at home and international affairs."

Sir Edward made a speech in acceptance. He said: "I am delighted to be here today, not only for the honour but because I love this place. I have known it for a long time and have always admired itI was one of those who was delighted when I heard the that University of Greenwich was to come here."


Notes for Editors

Rt Hon Sir Edward Heath KG  MBE

The distinction of Sir Edward Heath KG MBE is many faceted. Prime Minister from 1970 to 1974, he led the United Kingdom into the European Community. His ascent to the leadership of the Conservative Party in 1965 was the culmination of a meteoric political rise; over a 15 year period he moved from a new MP to junior whip to Chief Whip, Minister of Labour, Lord Privy Seal and President of the Board of Trade. Sir Edward's political contributions have continued since his premiership, notably in international affairs. He was a member of the Brandt Commission and has been an intermediary in major crises. Sir Edward's devotion to peace has carried particular authority given his distinguished record in the Army in the Second World War and his command of the Honourable Artillery Company thereafter. Most unusually for a statesman, Sir Edward has also had major achievements in two entirely separate spheres. As an ocean racer he won, among other prizes, the Sydney to Hobart Ocean Race in 1969. He is also well-known for his interest in music where he has held, for example, the Presidency of the European Community Youth Orchestra. Yet, as well as these wide-ranging achievements, this man of Kent has remained faithful to his roots, representing Bexley and Sidcup in Parliament for no fewer than 51 years until his retirement, as Father of the House - the longest serving member in the commons - at the recent general election.

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Caron Jones
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