An American woman who has been living in Bucks for 20 years was honoured in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Chalfont St Giles based Antoinette Harvey, senior geoscientist in the licensing, exploration and development team at the Oil and Gas Authority, was recognised with an O.B.E for her services to energy development.
Ms Harvey, who prefers to be called Toni, has a degree in Geophysical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and an MSc in Sedimentology from Birkbeck College, London.
She worked as a geophysicist in the oil and gas industry for 20 years in the US, UK and Norway before moving to Chalfont St Giles in 1993.
Speaking about the award she said: “It’s totally a surprise.”
She added: “I’m absolutely thrilled. It’s such an honour, particularly being born in America to be picked out is just an incredible honour.”
Ms Harvey, who came to Chalfont St Giles “by chance,” originally did not intend to stay here for very long.
She said: “I came over from The States with my family for a three year assignment and we loved it so much we decided to stay.”
And added: “I’m a dual citizen, I’m not a foreigner any longer.
“We just love the UK, we love the people. We love the culture.”
The chartered geologist has also offered evidence on DECC’s behalf at the Select Committee on Economic Affairs Inquiry in the House of Lords on ‘the Economic Impact on UK Energy Policy of Shale Gas and Oil’ in October 2013.
And she said it has been hard not to mention the honour to anyone: “It’s been very difficult over the last month not to mention it. People were just really nice when they found out. I’m just amazed that people who I’ve not talked to in a very long time sent me congratulations.”