LEGISLATIVE Council President John Swaine has been knighted in the New Year's Honours List, published this morning. The knighting of Sir John, who was a Commander of the British Empire (CBE), is the highest award in this year's list for services to Hong Kong. Sir John replaced Governor Chris Patten as president of the law-making assembly early last year when it was decided Mr Patten should step down to signify Legco's independence from the Executive Council. Sir John, who takes the rank of Knight Bachelor, is among 84 government servants, members of the emergency services and people from the voluntary and private sectors to win official recognition for their service to the administration and the community. Among the recipients is an AIDS campaigner, a blind volunteer and a doctor who works with leprosy patients. Member of the British Empire (MBE) recipient Sister Maureen McGinley, a co-ordinator of voluntary agency AIDS Concern, believes her prime duty is serving patients living in the shadow of AIDS. She spends hours sitting with infected children; bathing and feeding them - jobs shunned even by some nurses and doctors. Her work has won her the trust and praise of many AIDS patients and their families - and audiences with the Governor. Through meetings with Mr Patten, Sister Maureen helped win government compensation for Hong Kong's haemophiliacs. The president of the Hong Kong Association for the Blind for the past seven years, Chong Chan-yau, was also made an MBE. Mr Chong does not agree that blind people should be pitied. His determination to show what blind people can achieve won him recognition in 1991's Ten Outstanding Young Persons' Awards. He was a founding member of Oxfam Hong Kong. Another MBE recipient, Dr Norman Honey, who began treating leprosy patients in the 1960s in West Africa, has been working for the Hong Kong Government for nearly 25 years. Dr Honey, has strived to fight the stigma associated with the disease. He opposes the term 'leper', saying it is as bad as calling a drug addict 'a druggie'. One of the highest honours this year for non-civil servants went to Executive Councillor Professor Edward Chen Kwan-yiu, the University of Hong Kong's Asian Studies director. Mr Chen was given a CBE, as were Secretary for Trade and Industry Chau Tak-hay, Vice-Chancellor of the City University Professor Cheng Yiu-chung, and Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands Tony Eason.