TWO new lifeboats have been named.
More than 200 people gathered at the RNLI centre, in Roker, to mark the special event.
The £39,000 D class lifeboat, which will replace an older model based on Wearside, has been funded by businesswoman Marjorie Gallon, along with a relief vessel.
Martin Andrew, Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat operations manager, said: “Naming ceremonies are always very special occasions and, of course, on Saturday we named not just our own lifeboat but also an RNLI relief vessel, both provided thanks to the very generous legacy of Mrs Gallon.”
The Sunderland-based boat has been named MyJo, in memory of her late husband Joe.
It will operate alongside the larger Atlantic 85 class inshore lifeboat Wolseley.
It replaces Sunderland’s previous D class Helen and Ian Tytler, which has come to the end of her operational life after completing 206 rescue missions.
“Her friends received a very warm welcome in Sunderland and we were able to demonstrate to them just how much Mrs Gallon’s kind gift has meant to our charity,” said Mr Andrew.
Mrs Gallon, from the West Midlands, died in 2007 aged 86.
She also left the charity enough money to purchase a second D class lifeboat to operate in the RNLI’s relief fleet, covering stations when their vessels are undergoing refits or repairs.
Her friend Sue Roberts and husband David, both members of the RNLI Hall Green and Acocks Green Guild, named the lifeboats.
Mrs Roberts said the relief lifeboat was named MyWay, because of Mrs Gallon’s dedication and sense of purpose.
“Marjorie was a lovely lady who had a lot of tales to tell and a great sense of humour,” she said.
“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 were named and I know it is the sort of occasion she would have loved.”
Mr and Mrs Gallon ran the Regency Plating Company, a small plating factory, in Birmingham’s jewellery quarter.
The couple, who sold the firm on retirement, originally lived in Hall Green, but later moved to Solihull. Mr Gallon died in 1999.