Pwllheli RNLI stalwart Bernard Roberts has retired as honorary treasurer after nearly 20 years in the role.
Bernard’s career with the charity started many years before that when, aged just 15, he joined Pwllheli RNLI as volunteer shore crew helping to put out the skids to launch the lifeboat.
Bernard was following in his father’s footsteps who was Pwllheli RNLI volunteer boat crew and, at the age of 16, Bernard was also invited to become a boat crew member.
After leaving school at 15, Bernard started work as an apprentice fireman and cleaner working on steam trains in Pwllheli.
After a couple of years, Bernard moved away to live and work in other areas of the UK, including a brief stint in the merchant navy, crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary cruise ship.
He returned to Pwllheli to settle down to married life and rejoined the Pwllheli RNLI boat crew for another 10 years before ill health forced him to step down.
“I went on lots of shouts over the years, though a lot of them were searching for nothing,” said Bernard.
“Often, on a clear night, people coming over the hill past Bryn Beryl hospital would catch sight of a red light out at sea and think it was a flare from a boat in trouble. We would launch and go out to search but it was actually St Tudwal’s lighthouse which has both a white and a red light.”
At 60, Bernard was invited to train as a deputy launch authority, before becoming honorary treasurer in 2003. He celebrated his retirement with a farewell celebration at Pwllheli Lifeboat Station where he was presented with an RNLI Certificate of Service by Alison Hayes, chairperson of Pwllheli RNLI fundraisers. Alwyn Roberts, Pwllheli RNLI mechanic, gave Bernard a £50 voucher as a gift from the volunteer crew members.
Bernard also received a letter of thanks from head of operations, John Payne, and a Queen’s Jubilee medal from Pwllheli RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Andy Vowell, who said: “Bernard has been a dedicated volunteer at Pwllheli Lifeboat Station for many years.
“He will be missed by all the team and we would like to thank him and wish him a long and happy retirement.”