Berwickshire’s RNLI stalwart is to retire

Vice Admiral SirTim Laurence with Felicity Douglas-Home at Eyemouth Lifeboat Station
Vice Admiral SirTim Laurence with Felicity Douglas-Home at Eyemouth Lifeboat Station

RNLI members and their families across the UK have benefited from the pastoral care of Berwickshire’s Felicity Douglas-Home.

In Berwickshire she is better known as president of the Eyemouth RNLI and the dedicated organiser of their annual carol concert for more years than most of us care to remember but now Felicity’s “long and distinguished career with the RNLI” is coming to a close.

Perhaps less widely known has been her pastoral role with the Royal National Lifeboat Institute, which has taken her to all corners of the country.

In 2011 Felicity was awarded the Bar to Gold Badge at a special presentation for her “long and distinguished career with the RNLI, particularly her continued pastoral work supporting bereaved crew, officials, retirees and their relatives”.

Felicity received the personal thanks of Vice Admiral, Sir Tim Lawrence, husband of Princess Anne and a trustee of the RNLI, when he visited Eyemouth lifeboat station last week. The visit was part of a five year inspection of the 13 lifeboat stations between St Abbs and Redcar.

After meeting the lifeboat crew, RNLI committee and volunteers Vice Admiral Lawrence said: “We are here as part of a review of all lifeboat stations from Redcar to St Abbs. We visit every lifeboat station every five years.

“It’s nice to be here particularly to say farewell to Felicity who is standing down as president of Eyemouth lifeboat station.

“She has been a wonderful supporter of the RNLI, not just here in Eyemouth, she visits widows and families of lifeboatmen around the country and it’s wonderful to recognise her contribution to the institution.”

A formal presentation to Felicity is planned in London later in the year to thank her for her many years of service to the RNLI.

Over the years it has been Felicity who has made many presentations to local lifeboat crew members and volunteers for their service over the years. She also presented Pipe Major Andrew Ainslie with a Certificate of Service in 2009 in her role as chairman of Berwickshire Branch of the RNLI. The pipe major has played at RNLI annual carol services, organised by Felicity, for the past 22 years.

One of Felicity’s last official duties will be to be at the harbourside this Saturday morning when retiring lifeboat coxswain David ‘Bing’ Collin returns from his final exercise with the crew.

Eyemouth’s coxswain/mechanic ‘Bing’ retired from the crew of Eyemouth lifeboat at the end of December and Felicity will lead the crew and volunteers at the quayside to mark his retirement before stepping down herself.