By Dan Walsh
This summer marks 175 years since a lifeboat service was first established in Kilmore Quay and the distinguished occasion will be celebrated with an exhibition curated by local author and historian, John Power, this weekend on Saturday and Sunday in the Stella Maris Centre, Kilmore Quay.
In 1846 the Royal National Lifeboat Institution was asked by Inspector General Dombraine to provide a lifeboat for Kilmore Quay. The Institution sent a lifeboat on the 28 July 1847. It was put under the care of the Coastguards stationed in Kilmore Quay at the time and so began 175 years of voluntary service to save lives at sea.
John Power is an authority on local maritime history and has published three volumes on the subject – A Maritime History of County Wexford, Vol. 1 (1859-1910); Vol II (1911-1960) and Vol. III (1961-1998), as well as the book Above and Beyond the Call of Duty, a tribute to local rescue services published in 1993. This will be John’s 12th exhibition.
Speaking about the upcoming exhibition, John Power said told WexfordLocal.com; “A lot of material has been collected for this Exhibition through photographs, artefacts, and models of some of the lifeboats that served at the station, including many of the rescues carried out over that period. Hon secretaries, coxswains, engineers and lifeboat crews, volunteers and fundraisers will be features and many more surprises’
Kilmore Quay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, John Grace added; “The RNLI lifeboat service is an integral part of Kilmore Quay, and we are thrilled with the exhibition that John has put together and incredibly grateful to him for all his effort. We hope everyone can come down and enjoy the story of how it all started through to today’s modern service and see the tremendous commitment of our volunteer crews through the years.’
The exhibition will open at 6pm on Friday with the official launch taking place at 7pm. The exhibition will be open on Saturday from 11am to 5.30pm and on Sunday from 11am to 6pm. Admission is free.