Pwllheli RNLI stalwart retires as honorary treasurer

Lifeboats News Release

Bernard Roberts has retired as honorary treasurer at Pwllheli RNLI after nearly 20 years in the role.

Bernard Roberts standing on the left of the photo is shaking hands with Pwllheli RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Andy Vowell has he receives his letter of thanks and Queen's Jubilee Medal

RNLI/Elizabeth Denholm

Bernard Roberts receiving his letter of thanks from Pwllheli RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Andy Vowell
Bernard’s career with the charity which saves lives at sea, started many years ago when, aged just 15, he joined Pwllheli RNLI as volunteer shore crew helping to put out the skids to launch the lifeboat.

Bernard was following in his father’s footsteps who was Pwllheli RNLI volunteer boat crew and, at the age of 16, Bernard was also invited to become a boat crew member.

After leaving school at 15, Bernard started work as an apprentice fireman and cleaner working on steam trains in Pwllheli. After a couple of years, Bernard moved away to live and work in other areas of the UK, including a brief stint in the merchant navy, crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary cruise ship.

He returned to Pwllheli to settle down to married life and rejoined the Pwllheli RNLI boat crew for another 10 years before ill health forced him to step down.

Bernard says: ‘I went on lots of shouts over the years, though a lot of them were searching for nothing. Often, on a clear night, people coming over the hill past Bryn Beryl hospital would catch sight of a red light out at sea and think it was a flare from a boat in trouble. We would launch and go out to search but it was actually St Tudwal’s lighthouse which has both a white and a red light.”

On reaching 60 Bernard was invited to train as a Deputy Launch Authority, before becoming honorary treasurer in 2003.

The RNLI stalwart celebrated his retirement with a farewell celebration at Pwllheli Lifeboat Station. He was presented with an RNLI Certificate of Service by Alison Hayes, Chairperson of Pwllheli RNLI fundraisers. Alwyn Roberts, Pwllheli RNLI Mechanic gave Bernard a £50 voucher as a gift from the volunteer crew members.

Bernard also received a letter of thanks from Head of Operations, John Payne, and a Queen’s Jubilee medal from Pwllheli RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Andy Vowell who said: 'Bernard has been a dedicated volunteer at Pwllheli Lifeboat Station for many years.

He has held various roles and retires as Hon Treasurer; he will be missed by all the team and we would like to thank him and wish him a long and happy retirement.'

RNLI media contact

For more information contact Elizabeth Denholm, RNLI Pwllheli Lifeboat Press Officer on 07806 800627 or email [email protected] Alternatively contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email [email protected]

Alison Hayes, Chairperson of Pwllheli RNLI fundraisers stands to the left of Bernard as they both hold the framed RNLI Certificate of Service.

RNLI/Elizabeth Denholm

Alison Hayes, Chairperson of Pwllheli RNLI fundraisers presents Bernard with his RNLI Certificate of Service.
Pwllheli RNLI mechanic Alwyn Roberts on the left of the photohand shaking hands with Bernard

RNLI/Elizabeth Denholm

Pwllheli RNLI mechanic Alwyn Roberts hands Bernard a cheque for £50 as a gift from Pwllheli RNLI crew members.

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 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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