Fr. Cyril Axelrod has just been made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at a special ceremony at Windsor Castle. Fr. Cyril is the first deafblind person to have ever received such an honour and was nominated for his work in establishing deafblind training services with the Hong Kong Society for the Blind where he has been an Honorary Consultant for the past five years. In Malta, Fr Cyril has also been offering his training services on the invitation of the Deaf Ministry Team within the Pastoral Commission persons with Disabilities within the Archdiocese of Malta.
The Queen spoke to Fr. Cyril encouraging him to continue his valuable work around the world helping deafblind and disabled people and personally thanked him for his gift, a signed copy of his life story ‘And the Journey Begins’.
The Diocesan Commission Persons with Disability, the Deaf Ministry Team and Id-Dar tal-Providenza have joined communities and organizations around the world in congratulating Fr Cyril on this very special occasion.
The historic event was followed by a Thanksgiving Service and celebration at the Sir Christopher Wren Hotel in Windsor in the company of family, friends and select guests from around the world to help share this momentous day in what was described as a true representation of the global and inclusive appeal of his life and work around the world.
Fr. Cyril dedicated and presented his medal to the Hong Kong Society of the Blind Representative and good friend of his, Simon Chan who was recently in Malta together with Fr Cyril and Ms Hester Holliday, a deaf person herself. This selfless act is a clear reminder of the humble service he continues to give to the world and is symbolic of his mission to promote what he refers to as the ‘gift of disabilities’.