A 90-year-old with “boats in the blood” has been praised for dedicating more than half his life to supporting a lifeboat charity.
Betty Brooks was honored by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has decided to retire in 2014 after 55 years of dedication to its fundraising efforts and to charity.
Mrs Brooks, who has been honored as a “champion fundraiser” by the RNLI, is from Rye Harbor and began volunteering for volunteer-run charities in 1966.
She was born in the village some 90 years after the 1928 lifeboat disaster – when the village’s only lifeboat capsized, killing all 17 crew members.
Decades after the accident, she began fundraising when her husband Terry became one of the first volunteers on the village’s new lifeboat.
Since lifeboats were smaller and less equipped at the time, Mrs. Brooks, then the mother of two young children, was concerned about her safety.
She soon became the founder of a small fundraising group made up of the wives of the crew, called The Lifeboat Ladies.
The Lifeboat Ladies began by raising money for the crew’s wells and later for everything the team needed.
The group disbanded after a few years but Mrs Brooks remained and has been supporting the RNLI Rye Harbor ever since.
She said she “couldn’t be more proud” of having a lifeboat in her family’s blood, as her grandson Jay joined the RNLI at the age of 17 and is now a full-time crew member at the Tower RNLI Lifeboat Station on the Thames. works in.
Her grandfather, her mother and her brothers were all involved in the first harbor lifeboats.
Upon being honored by the RNLI in 2014, Mrs Brooks was invited to the Barbican to receive a gold badge for all years of her commitment.
While retiring from her fundraising efforts this year, Mrs. Brooks has been given the title of “chair of all fundraisers” at Harbor so that she can remain part of the team.