Marjorie and Joe Gallon.
MyJo in action. Credit Paul Nicholson/RNLI.
Sunderland’s newest RNLI inshore lifeboat and a vessel from the charity’s relief fleet will be named during a special ceremony on Saturday, when RNLI volunteers and supporters will also be remembering the West Midlands woman whose generous legacy provided the two lifeboats.
The ceremony at Sunderland RNLI lifeboat station will be attended by around 200 people, including friends of Mrs Marjorie Gallon who died at the age of 86 in 2007 and left a legacy which funded two D class lifeboats for the charity. Sunderland’s lifeboat will be named MyJo in memory of her late husband Joe, while the relief vessel is to be named MyWay – because that was the way Mrs Gallon liked to do things.
MyJo went into service last November and has already carried out six (as of 15 March) rescue launches, operating alongside the larger Atlantic 85 class inshore lifeboat Wolseley. MyWay has been in service since October, operating at RNLI lifeboat stations around the coast when their own lifeboat is being repaired or having a refit.
The lifeboats will be named by Sue and David Roberts, friends of Mrs Gallon and members of the RNLI Hall Green and Acocks Green Guild. Mrs Roberts said:
‘Marjorie was a lovely lady who had a lot of tales to tell and a great sense of humour. She always did things her way, which is why one of the lifeboats is named MyWay. She would be delighted to know that the two lifeboats are going to be named and I know it is the sort of occasion she would have loved.’
Mr and Mrs Gallon ran a small plating factory, the Regency Plating Company, in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter which they sold on their retirement. They originally lived in Hall Green but later moved to Shirley, Solihull. Mr Gallon died in 1999.
Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Martin Andrew, said the volunteer crew and everyone else involved with the charity in Sunderland are looking forward to the naming ceremony.
He added: ‘Naming ceremonies are always very special occasions and, of course, on Saturday we will be naming not just our own lifeboat but also an RNLI relief vessel, both provided thanks to the very generous legacy of Mrs Gallon. Her friends will receive a very warm welcome in Sunderland and we hope we’ll be able to demonstrate to them just how much Mrs Gallon’s kind gift has meant to our charity.’
During Saturday’s ceremony, a service of dedication will be carried out by the Rev David Chadwick and music will be provided by Sunderland Monkwearmouth Salvation Army Band Ensemble.