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This year, we celebrate our 10-year association with Italtile, a company that has been instrumental in the rebuilding of several bases around the country and has supported us with materials for the renovations of others.The NSRI relies on the support of donors, partners and sponsors to be able to carry out its mission to save lives on South African waters and to educate and empower children and adults to be safe around water through its Water Safety programme, and Survival Swimming and Lifeguard initiatives. Without these longstanding partnerships, our rescue work and infrastructure maintenance would not be possible.Italtile is one such partner. The company was officially welcomed onboard as a Platinum Partner in 2014, but their support of Sea Rescue is a decade strong this year. The relationship was cemented in 2011, with Italtile making a substantial contribution to the much-needed rebuilding of the NSRI rescue base in Plettenberg Bay. A year later, a team comprising Italtile staff and NSRI volunteers climbed Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the renovation of the base building in Knysna, which officially reopened on 2 March 2013. The company has also donated tiles and sanitary ware for the upgrade of rescue bases, most notably Strandfontein in Cape Town.To honour their tremendous support within those initial two years, Italtile became the recipient of the Alric Simpson Award at NSRI’s 2012 AGM. The award is presented annually to a person or organisation that has rendered distinguished service to the NSRI. Very fitting indeed for a company who contributed so much – and continues to do so – unconditionally.The relationship is one that thrives on mutual respect and appreciation. NSRI CEO Dr Cleeve Robertson lauds the company, saying, “Italtile is a corporate that recognises the very important work that our volunteers do and has consistently stood by us for the past 10 years, including last year’s Covid-19 disaster. Their value is measured in the many lives saved through their support. Big shout out, thank you Italtile!”For their part, Italtile understands the valuable role the NSRI plays in proactive and preventive measures to save lives, as well as the physical rescues volunteers perform. “The Italtile Group is extremely proud to be associated with the NSRI and looks forward to continued partnership with this remarkable organisation. They are true heroes in every sense of the word, making an invaluable contribution to the communities within which they operate. We are in awe and can only convey sincere thanks for all you do,” says Italtile CFO Brandon Wood.Thank you Italtile, we salute you!History of the Alric Simpson Award:Mrs Simpson and her two sons decided to sponsor a Brede for the base at Hermanus in memory of her late husband, Alric. The family did not want the boat named after him, choosing instead to call it South Star and the vessel was officially launched by Mrs Simpson at Hermanus in 1995.Mrs Simpson did, however, want to introduce an award in her late husband’s name, but she wanted it to be a little different to the normal shields and cups. Former Operations Director Allan Cramb was tasked to come up with an idea … and the Alric Simpson knot board was made.Each year, the Alric Simpson Award is given to a person or organisation that has given distinguished service to the NSRI. Below is a record of recipients that have been honoured in this fashion since 2005.
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