RNLI Volunteer Chairman Retires

Lifeboats News Release

John Abraham, Chairman of Porthcawl RNLI committee has decided to retire following 20 successful years volunteering for the charity. His role covered both the operational and fund raising committees at the station.

John chats and has a joke with HRH Princess Anne during her visit in 2015

Steve Jones

HRH Princess Anne with John Abraham

During his chairmanship it is estimated that over half a million pounds was raised locally for the charity. The lifeboat has launched over one thousand times and saved numerous lives. John was supported throughout by his wife Marj who in her own right raised seventy thousand pounds selling tickets for quilts she would raffle each summer season.

Following his retirement in early February John reflected on his time involved with the RNLI, he said, ‘My first contact with Porthcawl lifeboat was through my father, one of the original 12 volunteers who formed the elected Station committee in 1965. Then when our retirement brought us back to live in Porthcawl I was invited to join the fund raising committee, becoming chairman and later Station Chairman. I was struck, immediately, by the total commitment of all personnel in all aspects of the lifeboat service, our town should be proud of the time and dedication shown by our volunteers.

There have been many happy times, the station personnel have had the privilege of royal visits from HRH Princess Anne, HRH Duke of Kent and many dignitaries over the years. Just three years ago Porthcawl celebrated the station's fiftieth anniversary with an Anniversary Ball which was very successful and a credit to all volunteers’.

John, who had been a deputy head teacher during his career lives with Marj in Picton Ave Porthcawl, they have three sons, six grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Granddaughter Hannah served as crew at Porthcawl before moving from the town. When asked of his plans for retirement John said he would like to do more beach fishing.

Lifeboat Operations Manager, Philip Missen MBE said, ‘John has been a great ambassador for our station dedicating hours in so many varied ways for the betterment of us all. He has been a friend to us all and respected by all our volunteers’.

John and wife Marj celebrating at Porthcawl's 50th Anniversary Ball in 2015

Steve Jones

John and Marj Abraham

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.