rnliOne of the most important aspects of my life has been voluntary service to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. I joined the crew of Bude Lifeboat in 1966 serving until 1993, my last eight years as Senior Helmsman. On my retirement from the crew in 1993 until 2007 I served as Deputy Launching Authority for Bude Lifeboat, then serving on RNLI Council from 2007-2013.

In 1989 I was awarded the RNLI lifeboat crew Long Service Award. In 2002 I was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal for services to the RNLI.


RNLI Beach Lifeguard

jonathan.ball.birthday.60I co-wrote the RNLI Beach Lifeguard programme that brought the RNLI into Beach Lifeguarding, and served as the only non Irish member of the Bandon River Raft Run Committee in West Cork which, for a number of years ran the largest fundraising event for the RNLI in the Republic of Ireland. I was choir master of the Bude Lifeboat Singers for more than 30 years, a community choir which raised funds for the Institution and other charities.




bardIn 2002 I was initiated as a Bard of Gorsedh Kernow for services to the RNLI and Surf Life Saving in Cornwall taking the Bardic name Tregarthen (of the garden in the Cornish language). Gorsedh Kernow exists to maintain and give expression to the national spirit of Cornwall as a Celtic country.

Bards are elected by the Gorsedh Council and the honour of Bardship is awarded to people who have given exceptional service to Cornwall by the manifestation of the Celtic spirit or service to Cornwall, to people who qualify by a high degree of proficiency in the Cornish language and to people of distinction who, in the opinion of the Gorsedh Council, should be received as Bards of Honour. Photograph Julia Nottingham.

Article from the Cornish Guardian 30th April 2014 ‘British by birth, Cornish by grace of God.’

Surf Life Saving

Bid Announcement 2Living by the sea, both lifeboats, and Surf Life Saving have played a huge part of my life. I joined Bude Surf Life Saving Club in 1959 serving as Club Chairman from 1979-1987, and President from 1987-2003. In 1984 I received the Surf Life Saving Great Britain 25 year long service award and was made a Life Member of the Bude Club in the same year. From 2000-2009 I served as President Surf Life Saving Great Britain. From 2006-2009 I chaired the successful Great Britain Bid for Rescue 2010, the Life Saving World Championships under the bid Patronage of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.

In 2010 I was awarded the Certificate of Appreciation Surf Life Saving Australia in recognition of outstanding support for and contribution to Surf Life Saving Australia.