Penlee Lifeboat Station volunteers honoured with RNLI long-service awards

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI has awarded long-service medals to hard working members of the Penlee Lifeboat Station, who have given 300 years of service between them.


Andrew Munson, Penlee Lifeboat Operations Manager from 1989 to present

Awards have been allocated to Janet Madron (50 years), Rosalie Whitlock (50 years), Andrew Munsen (50 years), Dr. Mike Hersant (50 years), Roy Pascoe (40 years), Margaret Pascoe (30 years), Margaret Pomeroy (30 years).

Janet has received the RNLI's 50 years service award for her voluntary fundraising. She originally became involved at Penlee when her husband Stephen joined the RNLI, not an uncommon fact for a crewmember’s partner and - although Janet lost her husband in the Penlee Lifeboat disaster of 1981 - her unstinting efforts for the RNLI have continued. Over the years Janet has received the RNLI Silver badge, the Gold badge and a Gold bar for her support to the Branch. In 2012 Janet was awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Years honours list for her services to maritime safety. Janet has always had a love of helicopters and was delighted that when taking part as a training session volunteer she was airlifted and was able to look down on her lifeboat watching it perform in Mount's Bay. Janet remains branch chairman.

Rosalie, who is branch honorary secretary, has been awarded the RNLI's 50 years service medal and already holds the RNLI's Silver badge, the Gold Badge and Gold Bar. In 1971 she became the youngest ever Ladies Lifeboat Guild secretary at age 19, and in 2010 she was made an Honorary Life Governor of the RNLI, the highest award a shore based volunteer can receive. Rosalie has been the RNLI Shop Manager for some 40 years and still organises many of the fundraising activities. She joined the RNLI along with her mother Binkie Wallen who would have qualified for the 50 years medal also.

Rosalie said:

‘All the coxswains have been outstanding in my time here and the crews have given their dedication.’

Andrew Munson has received the RNLI's 50 years service medal, he had been a Deputy Launching Authority and has been Lifeboat Operations Manager from 1989 to present. He has also received the RNLI's Gold Award and the RNLI's special award of binoculars. Andrew was Newlyn harbour master from 1980 to 2013.

He said:

‘I reflect on those who passed through the Penlee branch, the coxswains and crews, and sadly I was in the company of Dudley Penrose and Mike Sutherland when we identified the wreckage of our lifeboat the Solomon Browne.’

Roy Pascoe has received the RNLI's 40 years service award. He served on the Penlee Lifeboats Solomon Browne and the Mabel Alice. He remembers serving with the new crew after the loss of the Solomon Browne:

‘We were full of pride and had a compulsion to continue,’ he said.

After Roy retired from the Crew he became a Shore volunteer, a District Launching Authority, is currently the Boathouse Manager and is looking after the former station at Penlee point, tending to the memorial garden and ensuring that the station is maintained. Roy was honoured by the Queen (2015) for his services to the RNLI with the British Empire Medal. Roy is part of a team, he has supported the RNLI jointly with his wife Margaret.

Margaret Pascoe has received the RNLI's 30 years service medal after working as a Committee member, vice Chairman and rota organiser. Margaret has been supporting Penlee branch with souvenir stalls, tea stalls and working in the shop. She said:

‘I have enjoyed it, working with colleagues and meeting so many people, it's been wonderful.’

Dr. Mike Hersant has received the RNLI's 50 years long service award. He had received the MBE in 2013 for 'services to the community in Penzance' while he was Lifeboat Medical Advisor at Penlee. His first shout was as far back as 1966 when he joined former Lifeboat Medical Advisor, Dr. Leslie.

Mike said:

‘I have thoroughly enjoyed it, I felt very fortunate to be part of this friendly family setup. On the lifeboat I tried hard not to get in the way.’

Margaret Pomeroy has received the RNLI's 30 years service medal for her work as a souvenir seller and box emptier, and she has been holding fundraising stalls in Mousehole for most of that period. She said: ‘I married into the RNLI, it’s a family thing.’

Her husband Raymond served 53 years and was on the last boat launched from Penlee Point - The Guy & Clare Hunter. Raymond's grandfather George Webb Pomeroy helped build the slipway and served on the first motor lifeboat The Brothers.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the RNLI, without people like these this lifesaving service could not continue. The crews are brave and the volunteers invaluable.

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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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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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