The new High Sheriff of Bedfordshire for 2021/2022 was installed today, Wednesday 7 April 2021. Eric Masih, who succeeds Susan Lousada DL, was sworn in at a virtual ceremony in the presence of Mr Simon Smith JP.
The Office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment for a single year. The origins of the Office date back to Saxon times, when the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible to the king for the maintenance of law and order within the shire, or county, and for the collection and return of taxes due to the Crown.
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 Masih was born in Punjab, India and was brought to the UK by his parents in 1967 where he was educated locally. Eric has continued to live in Bedford with his wife, four sons and four grandchildren. His hobbies include Asian classical music and martial arts, and he continues to practice as Southern Region Area instructor for the Tetsudo Martial Arts Association.
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.
High Sheriffs receive no remuneration and no part of the expense of a High Sheriff’s year falls on the public purse. There are 55 High Sheriffs serving the counties of England and Wales.