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it’s home. My children are all here, except the one who is in Holland, although she has a home here. All my grandchildren are here, and after 31 years, all my friends are here too.


You became a Dame in 2007: is that the stuff dreams are made of? It was all rather surreal. All of a sudden you get a letter in the post and the first reaction is that someone is pulling your leg! It was totally unexpected – particularly living in the Channel Islands, you read the honours list each year but you don’t think anyone from the islands will be featured because you don’t think of yourself as being in the UK.


You are heavily involved in charity and community work. Do you think successful, wealthy people have a duty to do this? I don’t think it has anything to do with wealth really – I think everyone should muck in and get involved with something in their community, whether on a big or a small scale. Stuart Falla has set up the Guernsey Community Foundation and I am getting


involved with that – they are going to be encouraging a lot more giving from big companies and are looking to support different projects in the community. It’s early days yet, though. But I do think that everyone should be aware of where they live. Not everyone is as lucky as me – I’ve had a lot of luck on the way to be honest – and it’s nice to be able to give back to the people who haven’t had that advantage.


From a business point of view, can you name one good thing and one bad thing about Guernsey? On the good side, I think the people are fantastic. We are a ‘people’ business and I just love coming to work because of the people. I think that would have been more difficult on the mainland because people are spread around more. Here it is like having a big family – they all are related to someone or went to school with them. Then the bad thing is that you run out of people because you only have so many to choose from, so there are pluses and minuses of being on an island.


Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions? Not really. I’ve had a very fulfilled life. If I could live my life again I might have done something more creative, in music or in painting perhaps. But I’ve got no regrets, lets put it that way! n


NICK KIRBY is Editor-in-Chief of businesslife.co


Fact file


NAME: Dame Mary Perkins AGE: 67 LIVES: Guernsey MARRIED TO: Doug CHILDREN: Two daughters and a son POSITION: Co-founder, Specsavers


HOBBIES: Spending time with my grandchildren, and I do a lot of reading and a lot of walking both at home in Guernsey and all over the world.


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