On 21st April 2015 Rowan Leck responded to an invitation from their Excellencies The Governor General of New Zealand, Lt. Gen. Rt. Hon. Sir Jerry Mateparae and Lady Janine Mateparae to attend the New Zealand Search And Rescue Council Awards reception at Government House. There he was presented with a “Certificate of Achievement, Support Activity” for service to Marine Search and Rescue.
In his closing address Sir Jerry suggested to those assembled to “take inspiration from the chap who started in 1958 and is still going strong”. That reference ‘blew Rowan away’.
“That year was when I did my first rescue. I was still training to be a Surf Life Saver, and arriving home from school a lady two houses from my home ran out carrying her baby yelling “help my baby has stopped breathing.” I took the blue faced baby from her and started resuscitation and was amazed when it started to cry. By then ladies from other houses had arrived and the baby, a girl was taken from me (still crying) and they all went to the girl’s home, leaving me in the middle of the street with my bike so I went home to an unbelieving mother. That changed when the baby’s father arrived to my home after tea to say thanks. I am happy to say that since then I have only had a mannequin to perform resuscitation on and many years of satisfaction in being part of a team in saving lives. “ It is that first rescue you don't forget.
"In accepting this award, I feel that it is not only for me, but also I accept it on behalf of all my colleagues who have tolerated and allowed me to be part of search and rescue for so long.
Thank you my friends for this honour."
Congratulations Rowan, from all Dunedin Marine Search and Rescue.