RNLI Rye Harbour scatters the ashes of Eileen and Jack Tatum
On Saturday 28 May RNLI Rye Harbour had the honour of scattering the ashes of Jackie Rees’s parents.
It was a touching and moving ceremony, the peace and closeness of nature providing a perfect setting for saying ‘goodbye’. The most obvious symbolic meaning of this scattering is a letting go and her family were there on the beach watching as the ceremony unfolded and they said their goodbyes.
Jackie told us a little about the parents who had played such a loving and caring part in her upbringing:
“My mother used to work with my father's mother. My mother was a nanny and my grandma a cook working for a professional couple. The man who would be my father came to visit his mum one day and saw my mother and it was Love At First Sight. They married soon afterwards and enjoyed fifty wonderful years together. They lived in Chelsea, London. They had three children, the eldest Chris who now lives in Turkey, Steve, who sadly passed away sixteen years ago in October, and me. My father was a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy and after leaving he was drawn to the RNLI. He had much admiration for the volunteers, as did my mother, who continued to support them with annual donations, raffles and 'Open' days throughout her life. It was Mum's last wish that, if at all possible, both their ashes should be scattered at sea. It would have meant so much to them, as it does to me, to be able to carry out that wish for them.”
Jackie made a wonderful cake and platters of sandwiches to say ‘thank you’ to the crew for the poignant send-off for her parents. In honour of their memory Jackie and her family provided the funds for RNLI Rye Harbour to purchase its own standard and all the kit needed to wear it at Civic services.
Paul Bolton LOM (Lifeboat Operations Manager) thanked the Rees family and said,
‘We are very proud to be carry the RNLI standard at services and civic events in Rye and we will remember, each time it is used, your wonderful parents, in whose memory it was purchased.’
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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