Graham awarded for three decades of gold standard charity work

Graham Smith  received a Bar to his Gold Badge, for services to the Lifeboats (RNLI - Royal National Lifeboat Institution), from HRH the Duke of Kent EMN-150713-072605001
Graham Smith received a Bar to his Gold Badge, for services to the Lifeboats (RNLI - Royal National Lifeboat Institution), from HRH the Duke of Kent EMN-150713-072605001

A Caistor man has been awarded for his service to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, RNLI.

Graham Smith (72) of Cromwell View travelled to London to receive a bar to his Gold Badge from HRH the Duke of Kent at a ceremony in the Barbican.

“I feel very humble to receive this award,” said Graham.

“But it is not a one man job - everyone in the Branch is part of this and the total we have raised has now gone up to £71,897 which is a tribute to their work and the locality. Thank you everyone.”

The inaugural chairman of the Caistor, Brigg and Market Rasen Branch of RNLI, Graham has now served 34 years in that role and 28 years as treasurer.

He also helps out on sales stalls, box collections and also helps his Education Volunteer wife, Margaret, at school events and activities.

The London ceremony was followed by a lunch in the Barbican’s Garden Room and Graham found himself seated on the table of Chief Executive Paul Boissier, who had earlier praised Graham when he read out the citation.

“He (Graham) became a Regional Speaker in the year 2000 and has a very flexible approach, travelling many great distances to fulfil requests,” said Mr Boissier.

“With a quiet sense of humour and a ‘Captain Bird’s Eye’ beard, so he is often asked where and how long he served on a Lifeboat. ‘Too busy for Lifeboats - raising money’ is his response.

“Over the 34 years this small Branch has raised around £67,500 under his guidance and commitment.

“All this continues to happen despite deteriorating health and more restricted mobility – the passion for the RNLI is still there.”