For Exceptional Service To The Royal Life Saving Society

Courtesy of John Connolly, Honorary Chief Executive of The Lifesaving Foundation, Ireland.

Retired Royal Life Saving Society Commonwealth Secretary John Long will receive the 2015 Honorary Ireland Medal.

Between 1957 and 1991, Long was a police officer who ultimately rose in rank to that of Chief Superintendent. He served in the Criminal Investigation Department and served in the Head of the Force Accident Prevention Department and Research and Development. He later spent one year in Uganda and worked in Canada, the USA, Germany, Sweden and Colombia.

Long has been a member of the Royal Life Saving Society United Kingdom National Branch since 1957 and has held posts as Trainer/Assessor, Treasurer, Secretary and Chairman in two different UK Branches. During 34 years of police service, he was responsible for the police lifesaving teams in both Suffolk and Warwickshire.

He has been President of the Warwick Life Saving Club since its formation in 1982 and was Chairman of the RLSS UK West Midlands Region between 2001 and 2011. In 2013, he was appointed President of The RLSS UK Warwickshire Branch.

 In 1992 he was appointed Interim Commonwealth Secretary of the RLSS, a post confirmed in 1993 until his retirement in 2010. He held the position of the RLSS Observer on the Board of the International Life Saving Federation from 1994 until 2005 and was Secretary to the ILS Development Commission between 1992 and 2005. In 1983-84, he re-started lifesaving activities and reformed the RLSS Uganda Branch following its disbandment during the 10 years of the Idi Amin regime.

Since 2008, he has been Patron of the Rashtriya Life Saving Society of India having been one of the prime movers in the establishment of the organisation in 1999.

Long is the holder of the Albert Schweitzer Silver Medal of Merit for humanitarian service, the RLSS UK Service Cross, the RLSS British Columbia & Yukon Branch Gold Benefactors Medal, the RLSS Alberta & North West Territories Silver Benefactor Medal, the RLSS UK Honorary Life Governor honour, the RLSS Canada Centenary Medal and in 2000 was appointed to the position of RLSS Commonwealth Vice-President.

In 2002 he was awarded RLSS UK’s Medal of Distinction and in 2004 was awarded HRH Prince Michael of Kent’s Certificate of Merit for outstanding service to lifesaving. In 2004, Long was made a Knight in the Order of Lifesaving by the International Life Saving Federation for his service to lifesaving worldwide. In 2008, he received the RLSS UK Long Service Medal in recognition of his 50 years of service to the Society. In 2010, he was awarded by the Hong Kong Life Saving Society with its highest honour the Order of the Dolphin for outstanding international service to lifesaving in general and Hong Kong Lifesaving Society in particular.

In 2012, Long received the King Edward VII Cup from HM Queen Elizabeth II during a private audience at Windsor Castle. The Cup, awarded once every five years, is the highest honour the Royal Life Saving Society can bestow on any of its members, in over 40 countries worldwide. The citation accompanying the cup simply read for exceptional service to the RLSS over some 50 years.

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Steven Munatones