20th April 2014
Anna Morgan-Crocket and husband Peter became a golden couple in an unexpected way at the annual meeting of Cowes RNLI Lifeboat Guild.
Thanks to the generosity of a Godshill woman, Anna’s retirement as chairman for the past three years could be marked with a gift of a limited edition RNLI gold charm bracelet, and Peter’s RNLI work with a distinctive gold pocket watch.
The items were donated on a visit to the station by Astrid West, of Lavenders Farm, Bagwich Lane, Godshill, with the request they go to people ‘who had done something very special for the station’. Lifeboat operations manager, Mark Southwell, immediately thought of Anna and Peter.
The presentations to the delighted pair were made by the chairman of the Isle of Wight Lifeboat Board, Lady Sally Pigot. Astric West, who was present at the meeting, said: “My husband and I are sailors and members of the RNLI and the two items were just stuck in a drawer.”
Anna also received a bouquet of flowers from the guild committee and a dinner voucher for Murray’s restaurant.
In a letter to Anna, Mark (who had left on holiday before the meeting) paid tribute to all her hard work, enthusiasm and professionalism during her chairmanship. This included the ‘extraordinary effort’ she put into the new station’s £1-million appeal, and her involvement in the visit to the station of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. “And I understand what a support Peter has been to you and the RNLI.”
In her annual report Anna reported that because of the country’s economic difficulties the guild had to work that much harder in the past year to raise money for the charity. The current branch profit stood at £33,593. In addition a further £20,163 was raised by the local RNLI shop.
In his report to the meeting, read by deputy launch officer Nick Edwards, Mark reported that the lifeboat launched 43 times in 2013, with autumn and winter proving particularly busy. The station now had 25 boat crew, many of whom are new. “All these crew must train to the national RNLI standard and that is a mammoth task with only four helms.”
He also praised the station’s shore crew for their important role. “We are not one of those stations which struggle for crew during the working day.”
Courses undertaken by many crew members have included RYA Day Skipper, Casualty Care, and VHF Search and Rescue.
Other volunteers have been recruited to enable the station to receive visits from individuals and groups, and visitors have included both the Lord Lieutenant, Major Gen Martin White, and High Sheriff, Mary Case, as well as parties of school children.
Mark revealed that Cowes had become one of the first RNLI stations to sign-
up to the RNLI’s new Sea-Safety scheme, intended to examine ways to reduce the number of drownings.
Guest speaker at the annual meeting was Dan Taylor, operations manager of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, who described how they worked with the RNLI.
Mary Morrison, the collection box secretary for the past ten years, was presented with a bronze badge and certificate. Elected the new guild chairman was Judy Morgan. Re-elected were: Diana Chillcott, vice chairman, Sandra Fussell, hon secretary, Carol Wootton, hon treasurer.
Author: George Chastney, Lifeboat Press Officer.