Grantham family funeral director donates lifeboat to RNLI Skegness
A Grantham funeral director has donated a new D-class lifeboat to RNLI Skegness.
Robert Holland, whose family business has served Grantham for over 50 years, paid the entirety of the £52,000 for the lifeboat out of his own pocket.
Robert said: “The time was right as Skegness needed a boat and I found myself in the position to buy one.
“I wanted a memorial to my parents. My father was born in Skegness and my family members crew the boat. It seemed blindingly obvious that it was the appropriate thing to do.”
Several family members, including Robert’s sister, wife and son, travelled to Skegness on Saturday to see the launch of the in-shore lifeboat named D-482, the Holland Family.
It was Robert’s initial intention to name the lifeboat in memory of his mum and dad.
However, on reflection he remembered that his parents were very generous in the way in which they lived their lives and remembering the service given by other members of the Holland family to the wider community, he decided to name it ‘The Holland Family’, thereby including all members of the Holland family.
Robert, who still visits Skegness a couple of times a year, often frequented the place as a young boy with his parents.
Those trips would always include a visit to the lifeboat station to see his father’s cousin, Ken Holland, who was for many years the coxswain of the Oakley class lifeboat.
Robert came to regard Ken Holland with the greatest respect and to admire the work of Ken and all of his crew. That respect continues today for Trevor Holland, Ken’s son, who is the head launcher of the present all-weather lifeboat.
It is those childhood memories that inspired Robert to work to raise funds for the RNLI during most of his adult life and has ultimately led to the donation of the D class lifeboat which was dedicated on Saturday.
Back in 2009, Robert was presented with a coveted Royal National Lifeboat Institution award by the Duke of Kent for his long-term support of the RNLI.
Using his expertise as a funeral planner, Holland initiated an ‘in memoriam’ donation scheme which has so far helped the charity raise more than £1 million around the country.