When a person receives an MBE, it is for the work they have done, usually to benefit their community or for a charitable cause, but David McLean said his is in recognition of the work of others as much as himself.

David was formally presented with his MBE for the promotion of arts, culture and music in the island at Government House last week by Sir John Lorimer.

Probably best known for his work with Peel Centenary Centre, David has lived a life with music at the heart of it, whether that be organising concerts, playing himself or just enjoying and celebrating sounds from all around the world.

He said: ‘I was lucky, my grandmother was a piano teacher so when I was three, she started giving me piano lesson. I’m 72 now so I’ve been playing for nearly 70 years.

‘Well, I mean, to listen to me playing, you wouldn’t have thought so, but I’ve been playing an awful long time.

‘In my mid-teens, like most people, piano all of a sudden didn’t seem so cool and I thought getting a guitar might get me more girlfriends. It never worked!’

Having returned to the island in 1991, David said he was ‘amazed’ by how much music there was in the island and said it has been a ‘total joy’ to be able to be a part of that for the last 30 years.

However, while the music has kept playing, the number of venues has dwindled somewhat.

This is why the work that he and a band of volunteers did in 2003 to ensure that Peel Centenary Centre was bought to be an entertainment venue for the people of the west was so important.

He explained: ‘There were six of us, it wasn’t just me by any stretch of the imagination, but you know in a way I’m the last man standing, but the other five original directions were just as important.

‘I think we all had different ideas, what we wanted, but I think the main thing we wanted was that it was going to be a community facility and in fact the methodists, who sold us the Centenary Centre, were really kind enough to give it to us at such a cheap price, so long as we kept it in the community.’

Having recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, part of the success of the Centenary Centre has been the willingness of its directors to try new things and to host a whole range of performers from the different arts, something David definitely enjoys.

He said: ‘We had our 20-year anniversary and I brought some African musicians to the to the Centre.

‘The place sold out, and we had just a wonderful evening.

‘There is nothing so wonderful as seeing 200 people on their feet, jumping about dancing and just having a ball to a band who most of them had never heard of and to me, that’s what I find the most exciting.’

What keeps the centre going is the continued support of volunteers and the hours they put in, having to work around their full-time jobs.

David said: ‘A lot of the other guys in the centre are more important than me in many ways, like the engineers. Our sound engineer is IT architect with the government and stage manager is a ICU nurse.

‘It’s much harder for them and they put in the sort of hours over and above the call of duty.

‘And then our bar staff, for example, they’re both well in their 80s and they still volunteer and turn out on a regular basis. We’ve got a great team of people there.’

Speaking on collection his MBE, David said he was receiving it on behalf of everyone who has given their time to the Centre, but also on behalf of his parents who ‘would have been so chuffed’ to see the event at Government House.

David added that his whole family is ‘mighty proud’ to see him recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours List and that he was proud to have them there with him.