Felixstowe seafarer receives Merchant Navy Medal from Princess Royal
PUBLISHED: 21:38 19 November 2016 | UPDATED: 21:38 19 November 2016
A former ship's captain who spent decades working in the maritime industry and still serves as a volunteer for a seafaring charity has been presented with a new state award to mark his exemplary service.
Capt Derek Peters, 79, was one of 14 seafarers to become the first recipients of a Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service, presented by the Princess Royal at a ceremony at Trinity House.
The award – recently granted a warrant by the Queen – is given to those who are serving or have served in the Merchant Navy and fishing fleets for exemplary service and devotion to duty, rewarding those who have set an outstanding example to others.
Capt Peters, of Links Avenue, Felixstowe, received his medal for services to the welfare of seafarers.
He first went to sea in 1953 with Cunard Brocklebank on their services to India and America from Liverpool, and became a Master Mariner in 1963. He later worked in the maritime industry ashore for the American Export Lines agency and later in management at the Port of Felixstowe.
He remains active in the sector today serving in a maritime charity, working to raise money and promote awareness of seafarers’ welfare – and is chairman of the Felixstowe committee of Seafarers UK, formerly the King George’s Fund for Sailors, and a member of its merchant navy welfare board for the eastern region.
Mr Peters said the Merchant Navy Medal was a huge honour.
He said: “As a charity we work to help and raise money for those members of the Royal Navy, fishing fleet and merchant navy who fall on hard times. Here in Felixstowe we raise about £5,000 a year from the events that we hold.”
Minister for shipping and ports, John Hayes, said the recipient were ambassadors for the maritime sector and an inspiration for future generations.