Royal Humane Society
Instituted 1774 Registered Charity Number 231469
recognising the bravery of people
George Parsonage is a lifesaver without equal.
As officer and lifeboatman of the Glasgow Humane Society (founded 1790), he has saved at least 1500 men, women and children from drowning in the River Clyde.
In recognition of his extraordinary humanity and a lifetime of service to others, George Parsonage was awarded a Silver Medal by the Royal Humane Society in May 2005.
"It is hard to imagine a modern life that better embodies the qualities of compassion and respect for human life," wrote the Glasgow Herald (6 May 2005).
George lives and works in a house on Glasgow Green overlooking the Clyde. It is the headquarters of the Glasgow Humane Society and is also the house in which George was born more than 60 years ago. He now lives there with his wife and family.
George 'inherited' the job of lifeboatman from his father, Ben Parsonage, who was the Society's officer from 1932-79. From the age of 14, George would go out on the river to help his father to rescue people in trouble.
Up until recently, he worked in close co-operation with Strathclyde Police and was on call 24/7.
George feels that his work has always been part of a team effort:
"Iíve never felt that Iím on my own out there," he says. "Members of the public, the police, fire brigade and ambulance service are always on hand and ready to help. This medal is an honour for us all, not just for me."
Princess Alexandra, President of the Royal Humane Society, presented George with his Silver Medal at the Society's Annual General Court in London in May 2005.
His official 'rescue and recovery' role has now ceased, but in June 2005 the Glasgow Humane Society received a grant of £90,000 from the Strathclyde Joint Police Board. This will allow George to continue to support the emergency services - and to use his unequalled experience of saving human life on the Clyde.