Stonehaven charity 60th birthday

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Stonehaven Fundraising Branch which was formerly Stonehaven Ladies’ Lifeboat Guild will be 60 years old this year and are having a party to celebrate.

The fundraising branch was started when a meeting was held in the Upper Town Hall on Monday January 14 1957, when 19 ladies attended.

Provost Ramsay was in the chair. The Ladies Guild was formed that day and Mrs Vi MacDonald was appointed president, a post she held until November 1983 when she was given the title of Honorary President, which she remained until her death in 2003.

During the 60 years of the Guild/Branch there have been only six presidents - Vi Mcdonald, Maragret Thomson, Karen Smith, Maragret Curnow, the late Alena Bathie and the present president Roberta Duncan.

There have been many members, some who served loyally for many years. The Scottish Lifeboat Council acknowledged the hard work of the Guild in 1975 when they presented a certificate of thanks signed by the then Convenor the late Duke of Atholl.

Several members of the present branch have been awarded badges and certificates.

Over the years the population of Stonehaven and the surrounding area have been very generous to the lifeboat and during the 60 years the amazing sum of over £350,000 has been raised.

To celebrate this great achievement, they are having a party in the Station Hotel, Stonehaven on Friday January 20 and it is hoped that all supporters and friends will attend.

Tickets priced £15 are available from Roberta Duncan, tel: (01569) 763500, or Karen Smith tel: (01569) 763380.

Karen Smith, who is the current, Vice-president, Secretary and Assistant Box Secretary, was in the news last week when it was announced that her contributions to the Stonehaven branch over the last 39 years has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.

Karen Smith has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services. When she became Box Secretary, Karen’s tenacity led to yearly income for Stonehaven RNLI rising from £5,000 to £17,000.

Karen said: “I was really overwhelmed when I heard I’d been awarded a BEM. I’m looking at it as an award for everyone at the RNLI. It’s fantastic to have such a generous community supporting the charity.”

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