Sixty-four-year-old Zevay Ahmet from Pergamos village, retired after 37 years of service to the British forces in Pergamos and Dhekelia camps.
This respected member of the often unnoticed 'Black Hand' gang that does so much to keep the camps looking good and running efficiently, received the Commander's Commendation at Dhekelia Station headquarters.
The award, which honours the outstanding loyal service and support to the Armed Forces and their families, was presented by Dhekelia's commander, Lt Colonel Kevin Grantham, in front of his Sodexo colleagues and Major Jim Kerr, Dhekelia's Quartermaster.
Sodexo, the company that holds the contract for the Station has employed Zevay for just seven years. Ahmet had been employed by the Ministry of Defence with the British Army for at least 30 years prior to being contracted by Sodexo.
After the ceremony, his boss, Martin Walker explained how Zevay and his colleagues, led by Martin, had swung into action on March 26, 2009 after a tornado had swept across Larnaca Bay to strike Dhekelia, damaging buildings on the Garrison including the golf club, tossing trees, debris and equipment around like so much confetti.
With roads blocked, buildings damaged and cables down, it was the Station Quartermaster's 'Black Hand Gang', who were the first to go out to start restoring some form of order to the chaos. Zevay's boss, Martin Walker said "Zevay just got stuck in and we started clearing the roads. We were working long hours and the tail end of the tornado was still producing extreme weather, it was hard labour.
In the first few weeks we filled 80 skips as we cleared the key roads, working, and living areas of debris. It took six weeks to get everything clear and a further few weeks to get the whole place back to normal and Zevay was at the heart of it the whole time."
That was recognised by todays Dhekelia Commander, Lt Colonel Kevin Grantham, as he addressed Zevay and his colleagues, "I really appreciate what you and your colleagues do on our behalf for Dhekelia. You are the unassuming unsung heroes here in Dhekelia Station. Thank you for everything you do."
After the presentation, Andrew Walker presented Zevay with a framed Dhekelia insignia, a gift from his colleagues of the 'Black Hand Gang'.
Sodexo were also planning to make their own presentation to Zevay at a later date.