Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen local advisory committee chairman Alan Gifford received national recognition at the organisation’s annual general meeting this week.
He received this year’s Stanley Pritchard Award, the highest award given by the RNMDSF to staff or volunteers for outstanding service rendered.
Mr Gifford has been a very long standing member of the advisory committee and in 1994 he assumed the role of chairman. His advice was said to have been invaluable during the sale of the former mission building in 2003 and the move to a welfare office.
Mr Gifford also assumed the role of superintendent in 2008 and 2009, manning the mobile phone, visiting the office with great regularity, overseeing every aspect of the work, maintaining contact with head office and even responding to a number of emergencies with great effectiveness.
At least one of these meant a night without sleep and the need to arrange emergency accommodation for a fishing vessel’s crew whose boat had sunk. He was said to have played a very important role in the appointment and support of a new superintendent who has proved to be a great success and who was taking the work in Shetland significantly forward.
Current superindendent Aubrey Jamieson said: “In my 18 months as superintendent Alan has been the most helpful and agreeable chairman. He is a man with many commitments and yet in spite of his exceptionally busy schedule he always has the time to speak things over and to get his sleeves rolled up and help at services and events. The Shetland mission staff are delighted that Alan has been recognised in this way.”