In January 2015, three members of the Newhaven and District Lifeboat Society fundraising committee received letters from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) informing them they would be receiving awards for their continuing commitment to fundraising for Newhaven Lifeboat. Now, at last, those stalwart supporters have received their honours.
Doreen Marrison had served as Lifeboat Souvenir Secretary for 30 years and was informed she would receive a Gold Badge, while Derek and Ann Payne were told they would receive a bar to their Gold Badges awarded in 1998. Derek and Ann have been fundraising for N&DLS and the RNLI for a joint 124 years.
Derek, 76, was also a crew member on the lifeboat from 1959 to 1995. He served as chairman of the fundraising committee for a total of 29 years. Ann, 74 served as Secretary of N&DLS for 32 years. Both Derek and Ann are still committee members.
The awards were to have been presented by the Duke of Kent at the Barbican Centre in London in May 2015, but due to illness Derek and Ann were unable to attend.
Mr Payne said: “My wife had a serious medical problem which resulted in eight days in an intensive care unit and sadly, we could not be there for the presentation. However we were delighted to have been honoured by the Society and thrilled to have received the awards.”
The presentations were finally made to the gallant group by Ellie Wood (Community Fundraising Manager for South-East England) at the Society’s Christmas gathering at Newhaven Lifeboat House on December 17.
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