THE man behind efforts to bring English and Indian communities together in Derby has taken a trip to Buckingham Palace for the second time.
Daljit Singh Ahluwalia was in London yesterday to be made an MBE (Member of the British Empire) for voluntary services to community and inter-faith relations in Derbyshire.
The award was announced in the Queen's Birthday Honours in June and he received the medal from Prince Charles at the Palace yesterday.
Mr Ahluwalia organised a number of variety shows to bring people of all cultures together and later formed the Indian Friendship Society – creating relationships between different cultures in Derby.
He also put together exhibitions on Punjabi culture, heritage, history and tradition, which has appeared at various city venues over the past 13 years.
His work was recognised as early as 1992, when he received an invitation to a garden party at Buckingham Palace, and in 2000 he was awarded a Derby City Council Civic Award.
In April 2009, Mr Ahluwalia, of Mickleover, picked up an award from the House of Commons for his efforts.
He was awarded the Punjabis in Britain All Party Parliamentary Group Cultural Award, in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of Punjabi culture in Britain.
Mr Ahluwalia said of his latest trip to the palace: "It went so well and I was so proud to see the royal family.
"Prince Charles told me to carry on what I was doing and he would be glad and that is just what I plan to do."
Originally from Delhi, Mr Ahluwalia came to London in 1959 to study at a technical college before getting a job with British Rail.
After a promotion in 1966, he was moved to Derby to work as an instrumentation engineer at the technical centre in London Road, and lived in Allestree.
In 1974, he married Parkash, a lecturer who also worked for Derbyshire police, encouraging ethnic minority women to join the force, as a translator for the Probation Service, and as a team leader for Derby City Council's education department.
The pair, who have a daughter, Poonam, made it their mission to promote understanding of Indian culture.
Mr Ahluwalia helped to found Derby Open Centre, in Normanton, became a member of Derby Racial Equality Council, chairman of the Ethnic Minority Forum and vice-chairman of the Education for All committee.