July 1986. Ronald Regan is midway through his presidency of the USA, Boris Becker and Martina Navratilova secure Wimbledon titles and Billy Ocean is holding Madonna off the UK number one spot. 23 year old Gary Hughes makes his way to Anstruther lifeboat station to give his first voluntary service to the RNLI.
A very special member of the Anstruther lifeboat family was remembered at a service this morning after amassing 32 years’ service to the RNLI. In a packed Cellardyke Church in front of family, friends and lifeboat crew members past and present, Gary Hughes was laid to rest.
Representatives from the RNLI Regional Base in Perth joined crew members from neighbouring Kinghorn, Queensferry and Dunbar in paying their respects to Gary.
With over 700 launches in Gary’s 32 years’ service, memories of the important role Gary played in getting the lifeboat to the sea safely was remember with fond stories shared.
In a fitting tribute to a special man, Anstruther Lifeboat Operations Manager Roy Giles reflected on Gary’s character around the station. ‘His uncanny knack of knowing when we would get our next shout could not be called into question – after all, he said it every day!’
With a fluctuating tidal system in Anstruther harbour, Gary played a key part in passing on his knowledge to new recruits. Gary took charge of the station amenities and had real pride in what did. He spent many hours polishing the propeller to ensure the Kingdom of Fife looked at her gleaming bests to visitors of the station.
His pride and dedication to the RNLI never went unnoticed.
Gary will be fondly remembered for welcoming crews back ashore with a smile warmer than the teas and coffees he stood waiting with.