Medal for driver in a million

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ILLNESS has kept Duncan Perry away from the wheel of his Abels’ furniture removal van for the past year, but it didn’t prevent him from being awarded a prestigious international diploma.

March-man Duncan, along with three of his Abels colleagues, were the only HGV drivers in the UK to be awarded the International Road Transport Users Diploma of Honour in 2010. Between them, they have clocked up over a century of service for the firm from its Huntingdon-base.

To qualify for the award, commercial vehicle drivers must be able to demonstrate exemplary driving records of at least 20 years – 15 of which must have been in international service – covering a minimum of a million kilometres.

The diplomas were presented during a ceremony at Abels’ Brandon headquarters, attended by Stephen Vickers, director general of the British Association of Removers (BAR).

The quartet was congratulated by Philip Pertoldi, Group Managing Director of Abels. Mr Pertoldi said he was proud to have such a loyal, skilled workforce.

“This is a superb achievement,” said Mr Pertoldi. “It speaks volumes for the high standards set by our company, and achieved by our employees, that the only four UK recipients of the Diplôme d’honneur work for Abels.”

Duncan, who is suffering from bowel cancer, joined Abels in 1988. He and his wife Debbie, who have six children between them, enjoy walking and spending time with their first grandchild.

However, Duncan has been unable to work for the past year after being diagnosed with the cancer which has necessitated six operations so far. He is unsure when he will be fit to return to work.

The other diploma winners were Kevin Baker, Tony Frior and Graham Ling.