Dedicated Kilkeel RNLI volunteer of 50 years celebrates his 90th birthday
A dedicated volunteer from Kilkeel RNLI who has spent 50 years fundraising for the charity, has celebrated his 90th birthday.
Merwyn Hanna has had at times a dual role with Kilkeel RNLI.
He began volunteering with the fundraising team in 1970, then became Honorary Secretary in 1979 and now continues as the chairperson of the committee. Over his 50 years of service as a fundraiser, Merwyn has been recognised by the RNLI on a number of occasions for his dedication.
His service awards include a Gold Award in 2001 and more recently a Bar to the Gold Award in 2007. In the 2005 New Year’s Honours list he was awarded an M.B.E. and was presented with the award for his service to the RNLI by Her Majesty The Queen on 22 June 2005. In 2007 he also became a RNLI Life Governor.
When the lifeboat station was established at Kilkeel and became operational on 10 October 1986 with the placing on service of a D class lifeboat, Merwyn started his service at the station as a Deputy Launching Authority and continued with this selfless service until 1994. At the moment, he is Kilkeel Station President.
The Kilkeel RNLI volunteer crew presented Merwyn with an etched mirror depicting the station’s lifeboat, the Frank William Walton, and at a socially distanced garden party for his 90th birthday Merwyn was thanked for his dedication and selfless service by fellow fundraisers.
Later, John Fisher, Kilkeel RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said on behalf of the crew: ‘Merwyn’s dedication to Kilkeel RNLI is an example to us all, he has worked tirelessly both as a Deputy Launching Authority at the station and with the fundraising team. He typifies the selfless example set by all RNLI volunteers. We wish him well and we hope his good work continues for many more years.’
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.