Eyemouth lifesaver ‘Jeeky’ heads to Buckingham Palace

Christopher 'Jeeky' and Lillian Norris attend the RNLI 200th anniversary garden party at Buckingham PalaceChristopher 'Jeeky' and Lillian Norris attend the RNLI 200th anniversary garden party at Buckingham Palace
Christopher 'Jeeky' and Lillian Norris attend the RNLI 200th anniversary garden party at Buckingham Palace
Celebrates 30 years of service v.1

A Berwickshire lifesaver enjoyed a royal appointment at Buckingham Palace last week after notching up three decades of service.

Christopher ‘Jeeky’ Norris, a boat crew volunteer at Eyemouth Lifeboat Station, recently received his medal for 30 years as a volunteer with the RNLI.

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Jeeky, who passed out as mechanic last year, was accompanied by his wife Lillian as they represented Eyemouth station at the RNLI 200th Anniversary Garden Party held at Buckingham Palace on May 23.

The garden party was hosted by the Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence and the Duke of Kent, who is president of the RNLI.

Almost 2,500 of the charity’s long serving volunteers, staff and their families as well as gallantry award recipients were invited to the palace to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the RNLI.

Jeeky said: “It was a fantastic day at Buckingham Palace, and it was great to see so many RNLI volunteers being thanked for their service. It doesn’t feel like 30 years since I joined!”

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Jeeky’s daughter, Claire Norris, is also a volunteer on Eyemouth boat crew.

RNLI chief executive Mark Dowie said: “We are incredibly honoured that His Majesty The King has granted permission for the RNLI 200th Anniversary Garden Party to take place at Buckingham Palace in celebration of 200 years of saving lives at sea.

“Our hosts, The Princess Royal, The Duke of Kent and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, have been hugely supportive of our charity over many decades and it was a huge honour and privilege for many of our volunteers and staff to meet them.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of the RNLI and I took the opportunity to thank them personally, along with their equally dedicated families and our long-serving staff members, for their courage and commitment to saving lives.”

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King Charles has followed in the footsteps of previous monarchs by becoming Patron of the RNLI this month, May 2024.

The RNLI’s crews and lifeguards have saved more than 146,000 lives since its formation in 1824, and its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the coasts of the UK and Ireland.

Eyemouth Lifeboat Station has been operating since 1876.