Honorary vice president of Magic Circle receives MBE aged 102

Henry Lewis, honorary vice president of The Magic Circle, at his home in north London

Henry Lewis, honorary vice president of The Magic Circle, at his home in north London, after he was awarded an MBE for services to fundraising and charitable causes in the New Year honours list - Credit: PA

A 102-year-old magician, whose interest began when he found a magic book in a pile of rubbish in Hackney as a youngster, has been awarded an MBE.

Henry Lewis, the honorary vice president of the Magic Circle,  was given the royal honour by the Duke of Cambridge at Windsor Castle for his services to fundraising and charitable causes.

The centenarian, who resides at an assisted living facility in north London,  stood up from his wheelchair to collect the medal at the ceremony on Tuesday.

Afterwards, Mr Lewis was visibly touched as he said: “It’s all very nice and I’m very pleased about it.

“I’m very surprised I ever got it”.

Explaining how magic has allowed him to fundraise throughout his life, he said: “Magic was a hobby of mine. It’s never been my profession, but it’s raised a lot of money all over the world.

“I performed in Canada. I performed in Denmark; Israel; in Massachusetts in two very large theatres. So I’ve had a very, very good life compared to most and I’ve done a lot in it.”

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Asked if he still did magic, Mr Lewis said he recently put on a show at the assisted living facility where he lives.

He joked: “They complained about it. It was too short.

“The best part of magic is that people enjoy it.”

Asked about his secret to a long life, Mr Lewis said: “Not to be devious. Go to bed at night, think of what you’ve done during the day.

“Think of what you’ll be doing the next day and when you wake up, do it.

“And never be jealous or envious of other people or their possessions.

“If you’re like that you’ll be happy.”

Megan Swann, the President of The Magic Circle - an organization dedicated to promoting and advancing the art of magic -  said: “I am sure that all our members will join me in congratulating Henry on this well deserved honour.

"He has helped the society in so many ways over the years. He has been a performer raising funds and has used his skills as a professional auctioneer on our behalf.

"He was the executive curator of our museum, catalogued our extensive collection of magic artefacts and notably in 1998 he loaned £100,000 interest-free to help fund our HQ.”