Stornoway Royal National Lifeboat Institution Station opened in August 1887 with the arrival of the islands’ first lifeboat the ‘Isabella’ – and over the past 125years the station’s lifeboat has been launched 890 times and rescued 823 people.
Over 500 people enjoyed a look around the Tom Sanderson lifeboat last weekend (Saturday, August 18th) and more enjoyed the games, stalls and activities on offer as well as tea, coffee and some delicious home baking.
A pair of restored plaques, which had previously decorated the original Stornoway lifeboat station, were presented to the Lifeboat Operations Manager Angus Macleod by RNLI fundraiser Jane MacIver; and all volunteer Stornoway RNLI crew members who had served for five years, or had served inIraq, were presented with Queen’s Jubilee medals.
On Friday night (August 17th) a function at the Woodlands Centre, Lews Castle Grounds, saw Stornoway RNLI Branch chairman John Maclennan presented with a plaque of thanks and recognition by Convenor of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Norman A Macdonald.
Mr Macdonald said: “This is to recognise not just to commitment of the people around in this present day, but also those who have come before – 125 years is a long time and it’s pleasing to see how over those years a station can grown and become as secure as Stornoway Station is now.
“It is a fantastic thing to see the effort which people will go to to support the RNLI which is one of the few emergency services that is still very volunteer run and to be able to recognise the people who put their lives in danger to serve others. And it’s a tremendous achievement to have done this for 125 years.”
John Maclennan also paid tribute to the volunteer crew of Stornoway RNLI, as well as the “power behind the button, the Stornoway Ladies Lifeboat Guild.
He highlighted the efforts of The Big Minch Swim Team who have raised nearly £20,000 by successfully swimming from Ullapool to Stornoway in June to raise funds for the charity; and welcomed the newest RNLI station in Leverburgh, commenting: “It’s been great to see the level of activity since the lifeboat has been stationed in Leverburgh and the way in which it has gelled the community of Harris.”
Members of the Leverburgh crew present also gifted the Stornoway station with a painting which they had received from Tobermoray station, who in turn had been presented with the image by Oban station.
Stornoway RNLI also presented both the Comhairle and Stornoway Port Authority with commemorative plaques marking the occasion.
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