RNLI stalwart Allan Williams dies after 42 years voluntary service to the cause
The Lytham St Annes RNLI Lifeboat Station Branch President and former Chairman died in the early hours of 13th February 2019
Allan, who celebrated his 90th birthday last year, had joined the Lifeboat Committee in 1977 to help to manage the Station. Two years later he was appointed Vice-Chairman of the Committee and in 1984 he became Chairman, a role which he performed with great skill and dedication. He retired from this role in 2015 and was immediately appointed Branch President. Allan continued to maintain his lifelong interest and support for the RNLI and was present at the naming ceremony of the Station’s new Shannon Class lifeboat Barbara Anne last year which coincided with his 90th birthday. He was highly regarded but was surprised and delighted to be mentioned in speeches, serenaded with a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ from the assembled guests and presented with a lifeboat birthday cake by Michael Vlasto OBE, former RNLI Operations Director who was present to name the new lifeboat.
A keen sailor, Allan has been a member of the Ribble Cruising Club for over 50 years. In the 1980s Allan was Vice-Chairman then Chairman of the Lytham St Annes Sea Cadet Unit for around 10 years. Allan’s long commitment to these three sailing activities, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the Ribble Cruising Club and the Lytham St Annes Sea Cadets, led in 2013 to recognition by the Royal Yachting Association who awarded him their Community Lifetime Award. This well deserved award was presented to Allan by HRH The Princess Royal at a ceremony in London later that same year.
Allan leaves two sons. His wife Kate, also a long time supporter of the RNLI, died a few years ago.
Allan’s successor as RNLI Branch Chairman, Richard Freeman, said, “Allan discharged his role as Chairman with distinction for some 31 years (having previously been Vice-Chairman for 5 years). Right up until his death Allan continued to maintain his lifelong interest and support of the RNLI.”
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.