SEVEN people from Gwynedd have been recognised in the King’s New Year Honours.

Ken Fitzpatrick, Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) at Porthdinllaen will receive a British Empire Medal (BEM).

The volunteer in Gwynedd is among six RNLI volunteers across the country who have been recognised by His Majesty The King for their incredible contribution to the charity, which will celebrates its 200th anniversary on 4 March.

Ken first joined the RNLI at 17 years old in 1967, and has since given 44 years of his time as both a volunteer and staff member in various roles at the station: crew, mechanic, coxswain and now LOM.

During this time, the crew has launched 942 times, aided 910 people and saved 120 lives.

Ken said: “I’m hugely proud of the work I have done with the RNLI, the institution has been part of my life for as long as I can remember.

“The RNLI has always been part of me, it’s a big family and this award is for everyone involved in that family here in north Wales.

“It came as a huge surprise to find out I was being honoured in this way I never expected it. You don’t do this work for reward.”

Other Gwynedd winners include Lynda Janet Suzanne Bennett for services to Hockey in Wales, Thomas Andrew Raynes Jenkins for services to the Forestry Sector, Dr Peter Simpson Jones, Lead Specialist Advisor for Peatlands, Natural Resources Wales, for services to Welsh Peatlands and to the community in Wales, Sean Adcock, Master Craftsman, for services to Dry Stone Walling, Dr Robert Havard Davies, Neuro-Development Team, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, for services to the NHS, Llinos Edwards, Nurse Team Leader, The Looked After Children Team, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, for services to Vulnerable Children in North Wales.

2023 has been a big year for Ken Fitzpatrick, 75. As well as receiving a BEM, he was also Bard of the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

Commenting on the fact that six RNLI volunteers with 189 years of service between them have been honoured in total, RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie said: “It is wonderful to see these six individuals recognised as we commence the RNLI’s 200th anniversary, each representing different roles across the charity which all make a significant contribution to saving lives at sea.

“It is particularly poignant to see recognition for our longest standing seagoing crewmember in the Isle of Man, which is where our founder Sir William Hillary came from.

“It is our people who make the RNLI one of the UK and Ireland’s most treasured institutions. All six recipients will be too humble to claim this recognition in their own right. For them it is all about the teams they volunteer and work with and the wider RNLI family which I am honoured to be part of. My congratulations to them all in this extra special year in the RNLI’s lifesaving history.”

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