There will be something fishy going on at the
House of Commons tonight when a Coventry character is honoured for his
hard work for charity.
Rupert the Fish collected over £1,000 to raise
money for the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fisherman in Coventry
Rupert – real name Robert Stephenson –
collected more than any individual fishmonger in the country on the
national fundraising day, and rivalled some national chains in the sum
His efforts included a giant display of a
shipwreck to attract interest in his collection.
He was presented with a certificate acknowledging
his efforts by the Minister for Fish Elliot Morley in a special
ceremony at the House of Commons.
Rupert, who picked up his nickname in the 1970s
because of the yellow checked trousers he wore, said it was important
to provide for families of fishermen who died at sea.
“I’m absolutely chuffed about it. I will be
accepting it on behalf of all the citizens of Coventry who put in
their pounds and pennies.”
He added that people in the city had been very
generous, with tragedies such as the disappearance of the Solway
Harvester - when seven people from Whithorn in Scotland died - in
January reminding everyone of the perils of the sea.
“We buy some of our shellfish from the area
and we thought we should support some of the families.”
Rev Robert Stephen, who works for the mission,
said Rupert’s efforts were second to none.
He said that people in land-locked cities
frequently gave more to help fishermen and their families.
Rev Stephen said:
“A death certificate is not issued if a body
is not recovered for seven years. This can cause a lot of hardship