Saturday, June 22, 2024

WORLD | 24-05-2024 14:39

British Embassy’s communications director honoured with MBE

Oliver Galak, the communications director of the British Embassy at Argentina, has been formally honoured as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by King Charles III.

Sometimes in life, those who work behind the scenes are not given the credit they deserve, but the British Embassy in Buenos Aires – with a little help from King Charles III – put things right last Thursday. 

In a break from his usual role, Oliver Galak was, for one night only, the star of the show at an enjoyable and laugh-filled ceremony staged at the British Ambassador’s residence in Recoleta. 

The reason? Galak was to be formally honoured as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), a prestigious and rare award granted by sitting UK monarchs for outstanding service or achievement. 

UK Ambassador to Argentina Kirsty Hayes oversaw proceedings, detailing Galak’s exceptional work that saw him formally recognised by the British crown for “the promotion of UK interests in and people-to-people links with Argentina.” But what could have been an overly formal and protocol-dominated occasion was anything but, with the envoy’s fondness for her colleague shining through.

Noting her communications director’s lengthy list of achievements, Hayes highlighted in particular Galak’s work in the lead-up to the G20 Leaders Summit held in Buenos Aires in 2018 (an event that drew UK Prime Minister Theresa May to Argentine shores), his careful and tactful handling of the 40th anniversary of the South Atlantic conflict and his support for the humanitarian missions to the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands that helped identify the remains of fallen soldiers.

Also among those paying tribute to Galak and his fine work was Mark Kent, the former UK ambassador to Argentina who became known as the ‘King of the Redes’ for his popularity on social media. Sharing a few tales about their exploits online, he drew smiles with his stories and details that offered an insight into the honouree’s work at the Embassy.

Galak, who worked as a journalist before working for the US and UK embassies in key roles, was joined by family and friends for the occasion and when the moment came for him to take to the podium and deliver a speech, his communications skills were on full display. 

Noting that his beloved Beatles were also recipients of the MBE honour back in October 1965, he delivered a gag-filled speech that hit all the right notes. Like him, it was hilarious, charming and, above all, muy buena onda.


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