Leachman's legacy remembered during fond farewell

The maritime career of Antarctic ocean explorer Captain Andrew Leachman spanned 55 years.
BRADEN FASTIER/STUFF

The maritime career of Antarctic ocean explorer Captain Andrew Leachman spanned 55 years.

Accomplishments on and off the sea were celebrated as friends and family of Andrew Leachman farewelled a man on Monday whose interesting life was as musical as it was nautical.

The Nelson-based ice pilot, husband to wife Viv, father of three and 'Grandrew' to four died on September 16, aged 72.

Tributes from friends and family recalled his many talents, from olive grower and cyclist to being expert on Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

The acting Chief of the Royal New Zealand Navy James Gilmour, left, and fellow Navy officers salute the late Andrew ...
MARTIN DE RUYTER/STUFF

The acting Chief of the Royal New Zealand Navy James Gilmour, left, and fellow Navy officers salute the late Andrew Leachman as a hearse carrying his body leaves Marsden House.

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A keen saxophonist who was known to serenade penguins in the Ross Sea, musical eulogies were also given by friends of the Nelson jazz fraternity and granddaughter Catherine, who had been encouraged by Leachman to take musical inspiration from the compositions of the Beatles.

During a maritime career spanning 55 years, Leachman co-captained the Niwa research vessel Tangaroa through the often unforgiving icy conditions of the Southern Ocean, before he joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as an ice navigation consultant in 2011.

Chief of Navy Rear Admiral John Martin, left, appointed  Leachman to the position of Honorary Captain for the Royal New ...
MARION VAN DIJK/ STUFF

Chief of Navy Rear Admiral John Martin, left, appointed Leachman to the position of Honorary Captain for the Royal New Zealand Navy in June this year. Accompanying Leachman is his wife Viv.

His contribution to helping the RNZN re-establish maritime patrols in Antarctica was acknowledged in June when he was appointed to the position of honorary captain. 

Acting chief of Navy James Gilmour spoke at the funeral. He acknowledged the lasting impression Leachman had made on the men and women who had benefited from his coaching through seven successive Southern Ocean patrols.

"He was a sailor," Gilmour said.

In a final show of respect, Naval personnel formed an honour guard for Leachman's hearse outside the Marsden House Funeral home.

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 - Stuff

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