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Obituary: Community gathers to pay tribute to Rob Leslie

 

 

WORDS/PHOTOS/JULIA WADE

13 June, 2022

 

thumbnail 11 MF-RobLeslie1 copy-691In a beautifully poignant and reflective ceremony, long-time local and volunteer firefighter legend, Rob Leslie was sent on his final call-out, surrounded by loving family, friends, colleagues, the community and a contingent of firefighters and service personnel.thumbnail 11 MF-RobLeslie4 copy-442

After his sudden passing at home on Sunday May 29, the Mangawhai Beach School hall was packed on the afternoon of June 6, where an estimated 400 strong crowd gathered to celebrate his life, a reflection of the love, respect and high-regard Rob was held in by many.

Well-known and loved for his passion, humour, warmth, generosity and adventurous spirit, 60-year-old Rob was a hard-working forestry worker, a tinkerer of engines and keen sailor. Growing up in east Kaipara, he was also one of the area’s devoted guardians, giving more than three decades as a volunteer firefighter, serving at both the Kaiwaka and Mangawhai stations, with the last eight as chief fire officer.

In this role, he was also a contributer to the Mangawhai Focus, called on frequently to comment on all matters regarding the fire brigade’s activities and operations, and although not a man of many words, Rob was always knowledgeable, warm and wise. It was a privelege to work with and know him.

The Focus team would especially like to express their deepest sympathy to Rob’s family and friends at this difficult time. Rest in peace Rob.

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