A RESPECTED Burnley doctor has been awarded an MBE by the Prince of Wales at a special ceremony.
Dr Venkataswamy Narayana said it was a proud day when he received his honour from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.
The long-serving GP had been given the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list last year for his services to general practice.
Dr Narayana, who is a senior partner at Thursby Surgery, was joined at the palace by his wife Elizabeth and two sons Chamu and Dileep who are also doctors.
He said: “It was a very proud day for me. My award was for services to general practice. It came as a wonderful surprise I didn’t expect it. All my family are all doctors too so we had four doctors going together.
“The Palace was a fantastic place. I got to meet Prince Charles. I never would have imagined it in my wildest dreams.”
Dr Narayana got the chance to speak to the Prince who has a long-running affection for Burnley.
He said: “He pinned the medal to my suit. He talked to me quite a lot. He talked about Burnley and about Burnley Football Club.
“He talked about me and why I came to Burnley and where I came from. He showed a lot of interest.
“He was very happy to see what I was doing.
“I wanted to thank him for what he has done for Burnley. He was delighted.”
Dr Narayana came to Burnley in 1974 and has spent the next 39 years working in the health service.
He has devoted 33 years of his career working in general practice at Thursby Surgery and is set to retire later this month.
He said receiving the MBE was a highlight of his career working in a town that he loves.
“People always ask me whether I am going to return home when I retire but I have always said my home is in Burnley.
“It is where I want to settle down. Burnley is my home - I love it.
“I am a strong football fan, I am proud of the town and the people are friendly and I think I have been quite privileged working here.”