James Lodder and John Curry have a combined total of more than 75 years of service to the RNLI, the national charity devoted to saving lives at sea.
James, the popular Chairman of Hoylake and West Kirby RNLI Lifeboats, is to retire after more than 30 years of dedicated work for the charity. John, the tireless Lifeboat Operations Manager at Hoylake Lifeboat Station has still more to give. After 46 years of service he is to continue as James’ successor as Chairman.
The RNLI is dependent on volunteers like James and John who work selflessly, often behind the scenes, to keep the charity and its vital work running smoothly.
James volunteered to help at Hoylake Lifeboat Open Day in 1985 and since then has put in thousands of hours in administration and fund-raising for the organisation. He has held numerous positions within the local RNLI and has been a real stalwart in supporting their life-saving efforts.
He was elected to both the Station and the Financial Branch Committees back in 1987 and became the Station Treasurer when the Hoylake and West Kirby Lifeboat financial accounts merged in 2005. He continued in this role until he took over the position of Chairman of the Hoylake and West Kirby Lifeboat Management Group in 2011.
During recent years James was Treasurer for the appeals to raise funds for the building of Hoylake RNLI’s magnificent lifeboat station and for the funding of her new high-tech Shannon Class lifeboat, achievements of which he is justifiably proud.
Andy Dodd, Coxswain of Hoylake Lifeboat said; ‘James is a true gentleman in all his dealings with the crew and officials. He has always strived for only the very best for Hoylake and West Kirby Lifeboats and will be greatly missed by everyone. We’ll be very sorry to see him retire but on behalf of all the Hoylake crew he has our sincere best wishes and grateful thanks for a job well done.’
James is modest about his voluntary work during his time with the RNLI. Although he is well-known in his public-speaking role as Chairman, he has never been shy to take on the much lowlier, but nevertheless essential tasks, of ‘bucket-rattling’ and ‘counting the pennies at Open Days’ for the charity. He has attended countless rallies, collections and other speaking events over his RNLI career.
In recognition of his achievements, the RNLI awarded James their Silver Badge in 1999 and the Gold Badge in 2011.
Of his time at his local RNLI lifeboats, James said; ‘I have really enjoyed being involved with the lifeboat service and I am proud to have played a small part in what has been a very exciting time in the history of the lifeboats in Hoylake and West Kirby.’
John Curry was a serving Liverpool Marine Pilot when he had his first “shout”. He answered the call to a maroon for West Kirby inshore lifeboat back in March 1970. The following year he enrolled as a crew member with the West Kirby boat and served there for twenty years. In November 1991 he was awarded the RNLI’s Long Service Badge.
During this period he was involved in many rescues, the most notable perhaps being part of the crew for the rescue of two men, whose canoe had capsized close to Hilbre Island on the ebb of a very high tide in the early spring of 1980.
On his birthday in May 1991 John enrolled with the Hoylake Lifeboat Station as a Deputy Launching Authority, standing down from his duties at West Kirby in the November of that year. Soon after arriving at Hoylake he also became their Lifeboat Press Officer.
In April 2001 he took over as Honorary Secretary of Hoylake Lifeboat, a title which was soon to change to Lifeboat Operations Manager, the position he will hold until his birthday in May of this year.
John said; “I’ve been fortunate, not only to have been involved in rescuing lives at sea, but also in bringing the station into the 21st century with the planning and building of the superb new lifeboat station at Hoylake. I am immensely proud to have been able to accept the revolutionary Shannon Class lifeboat at Hoylake on my watch.”
John is delighted to be continuing his service with the RNLI as he will become Chairman of the Hoylake and West Kirby Lifeboat Stations on the same day that he retires as Lifeboat Operations Manager. He said; “Being involved with the lifeboat is a very rewarding way of life. I feel privileged to have been involved with saving lives at sea and relish the opportunity to continue this commitment in a different role.”
Former Coxswain Dave Whiteley, who will succeed John as Lifeboat Operations Manager, said; “John has never failed to give his very best for the station and the crew at Hoylake. His dynamism and never-failing enthusiasm throughout all his years of service have been inspirational. Thank you John!”
Notes to editors.
- Hoylake Lifeboat Station has been operating since 1803 and is one of the oldest in the country. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to www.rnli.org.uk/hoylake or www.hoylakelifeboat.org.uk/
- Lifeboat Operations Manager Dave Whiteley and Coxswain/Mechanic Andy Dodd are available for interview by arrangement.
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Key facts about the RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
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