The new High Sheriff of Bedfordshire for 2021/2022 was sworn in yesterday (Wednesday) at a virtual ceremony in the presence of Mr Simon Smith JP.
Eric Masih, who succeeds Susan Lousada DL, was born in Punjab, India and was brought to the UK by his parents in 1967 where he was educated locally.
The Office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment for a single year.
Whilst the duties of the role have evolved over time, supporting the Crown and the judiciary remain central elements of the role today.
In addition, High Sheriffs actively lend support and encouragement to crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and to the voluntary sector.
Eric is honoured to have been nominated as High Sheriff of Bedfordshire for the forthcoming year and recognises that, despite the joint efforts to keep communities going, there is yet much work to do.
Due to Covid-19, the installation could not take place in the traditional way and the private ceremony was held via video link.
Speaking on his appointment, Eric said: “I am honoured to have been nominated as High Sheriff of Bedfordshire for the forthcoming year and recognise that, despite the joint efforts to keep communities going, there is yet much work to do.
"The unforeseen effects of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year have brought to the surface the financial, social and emotional hardships faced by many throughout the Borough.
"I feel passionately that it is through community cohesion and, in particular, through the work of local voluntary groups, that we can start to move towards a recovery phase.”
Eric lives in Bedford with his wife, four sons and four grandchildren. He has been a well-respected and well-known face within Bedfordshire for a number of years.
In 1996 he entered the Property and Mortgage sector and established his current business, Gold Crown Estate Agent. Within this sector, Eric is particularly committed to providing affordable and social housing in Bedfordshire.
Following on from this, Eric has sought to introduce business opportunities into local areas which have previously been considered run down and derelict and in 2006, Eric took over the previously derelict Irish Club on Midland Road in Bedford, in an attempt to attract business to the locality.
After an extensive refurbishment project, he launched the Midas Bar and Club.
Within the local community, Eric holds roles with several charities and organisations including the Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity (BRCC) for which he is a trustee, founding member of the Bedfordshire Asian Business Association (BABA) and Queens Park Academy School where he is a governor.
In 2013, Eric was appointed as the Chairman of Queens Park Community Organisation (QPCO), an organisation committed to building bridges between Bedford’s diverse communities.
Eric plays an active role in community cohesion and by the hosting of numerous fundraising events, fayres, and activities he has very quickly gained full support of local businesses, residents and the local Community Policing teams.