A ceremony was held at the Inshore Lifeboat Centre, East Cowes on Tuesday (September 10) to mark the retirement of Major General Sir Martin White KCVO, CB, CBE, JP as the President of the Isle of Wight RNLI Board.
However, before the Board’s presentation to Sir Martin, he carried out one final duty by presenting ‘Excellence in Volunteering’ awards to Caroline Peel (Vice-Chairman of the Board) and Lesley Myland (Honorary Secretary).
Sir Martin White has been President of the Isle of Wight RNLI Board, a unique organisation within the RNLI, since 2006. The Board was established in 1859 to assist with Island wide fund raising for lifeboats to cover the ‘Back of the Wight. The heroism and dedication of the early lifeboat volunteers continues to inspire current generations of RNLI Staff and volunteers. Sir Martin in his role as President, and also as the Island’s former Lord Lieutenant, consistently supported and encouraged the work and ethos of the RNLI across the Isle of Wight in trying to ‘Save Lives at Sea’.
Before making the presentation, Robin Ebsworth, Chairman of the Board, explained that the painting being presented was the work of Steve Simmonds, a former coxswain of the Bembridge Lifeboat and previously an employee of the Inshore Lifeboat Centre.
After Sir Martin had been presented with the painting, Mark Southworth, Lifeboat Operations Manger of Cowes RNLI also presented him with a picture from the Station and Ed Rennie, an apprentice at Inshore Lifeboat Centre presented flowers to Lady White.
Sir Martin thanked the Isle of Wight Lifeboat Board and the RNLI Board of Trustees for their generous words and presentations. He added that he was almost lost for words and felt greatly honoured; he had after all only been doing what he enjoyed doing. He commended the work of the Isle of Wight Lifeboat Board which he saw embracing the RNLI family across the Island and being made a Life President of the RNLI was the ‘icing on the cake’.