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New Quay RNLI celebrates with double naming ceremony for its lifeboats

New Quay RNLI crew with the Shannon class lifeboat Roy Barker V

ON SATURDAY 11th May over 200 honoured guests, including His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sara Edwards, the High Sheriff of Dyfed, Helen Jones, and the Chief Executive of the RNLI, Mark Dowie, gathered at New Quay Lifeboat Station in Ceredigion to celebrate the double naming and dedication ceremony of its lifeboats.

Last June, New Quay’s new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat, the Roy Barker V, funded by the legacy of Mr Frederick Roy Barker, arrived on station with its state-of-the-art SLARS (Shannon Launch and Recovery System) unit. Then in January of this year, New Quay’s brand new D class inshore lifeboat, the Will Morgan, funded by a local family arrived to join the family.

RNLI naming ceremonies are a longstanding tradition, allowing stations and communities the chance to welcome the lifeboats into service and celebrate their naming, as well as an opportunity to thank the donors and all their avid supporters.

Chair of Ceredigion County Council, Mayor of New Quay, His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sara Edwards, High Sheriff of Dyfed, Roger Couch, Ben Lake MP with New Quay RNLI coxswains and mechanics

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘We’ve had an extremely busy year welcoming two new lifeboats, and yesterday was a great day of celebration at the official naming ceremony and dedication service for both of our lifeboats.

‘The ceremony gave us a unique opportunity to say a very big thank you to the donors who so generously contributed towards the lifeboats and to all our supporters, fundraisers and the crew.

‘It’s a very special year for the RNLI with its 200th anniversary but it’s extra special for us as we celebrate 160 years since New Quay RNLI was established. What a momentous occasion.’

Ysgol Ceinewydd singing with New Quay RNLI’s Ken Davies

Naming ceremonies follow a traditional format, and yesterday saw Susan Rees, the great-great niece of Will Morgan (of the D class inshore lifeboat) and His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sara Edwards, handing the lifeboats over to Mark Dowie, RNLI Chief Executive – who accepted them into the care of the RNLI and then onto the care of New Quay Lifeboat Station.
Susan Rees, from New Quay said: ‘It was a great honour to be part of the service and hand the lifeboats over to New Quay Lifeboat Station. The funds to build the inshore lifeboat were donated by my great uncle, the late Hubert Evans in memory of his father, William Morgan Evans of Ianthe House and Gylfe, Aberaeron, where he lived from 1875 to 1916.’

Following the acceptance, local Reverend Matthew Baynham led the Service of Dedication. There was singing and then the tradition of pouring champagne over the lifeboats. The ceremony then ended with the Vote of Thanks from one of the Coxswains, Huw Williams.

Huw Williams leading the Vote of Thanks at the ceremony

During the past year over £100,000 has been raised for the New Quay RNLI Fundraising Appeal for training and vital equipment.

Mark Dowie, RNLI’s Chief Executive added: ‘It has been a wonderful day, a real celebration. New Quay and the whole of Ceredigion have supported RNLI lifeboats here for the past 160 years and we would like to thank them for their ongoing support.

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‘I remember coming to New Quay at the beginning of my tenure as Chief Executive, so it is quite apt that these two lifeboats are the last I officially accept into the RNLI fleet as Chief Executive of this remarkable Institution.

‘We’re immensely proud of those who give up their time to volunteer here at New Quay Lifeboat Station and for the dedication, commitment and sacrifice they make. Whatever their role; crew, station management, water safety ambassador, shop volunteer or fundraiser; they are the embodiment of the RNLI, willingly and selflessly helping others in need. We couldn’t do what we do without them.

‘We are also indebted to the people who have so generously funded these lifeboats. The RNLI couldn’t do its lifesaving work without people like you. In particular, we would like to thank the late Mr Fredrick Roy Barker, who left his entire estate to the RNLI.

‘We would also thank the late William Hubert Evans for funding the new D class lifeboat D-886 Will Morgan by leaving a legacy to the RNLI, and Susan Rees who was with us today, for bringing William’s astonishing story to life.’

RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie (left) with Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager (right)

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