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HMNZS Canterbury To Be Farewelled In Style

Navy's Last Steam Driven Frigate To Be Farewelled In Style

HMNZS CANTERBURY, the last steam driven Leander Class Frigate in the Navy, will decommission in Auckland on 31 March 2005 after 33 years operational service. Under the command of Commander Peter Kempster, the crew of 247 Officers and Ratings onboard, HMNZS CANTERBURY will return to her home port areas of Timaru, Akaroa and Lyttelton/Christchurch from 11 - 21 March for her final farewell tour.

Special events planned to celebrate and farewell HMNZS CANTERBURY include Charter Parades, Sports Tournaments, formal Beat the Retreat Ceremonies, local School Visits and addresses, overnight sailings for special guests, Navy Band and ships Maori Culture Group Performances, community work and Navy SeaSprite Helicopter displays to name but a few. One of the highlights will be the ship open days which provide the very final opportunity for members of the public to visit and farewell the last remaining steam driven frigate in the Navy, and to witness first hand the grace and charm of the only steam-driven frigate left of her era. Concurrent with the farewell visit to Lyttelton/Christchurch, a reunion of former CANTERBURY crew members will take place from 18 - 21 March.

HMNZS CANTERBURY starts her Farewell Tour in Timaru on 11 March and will leave her home port of Lyttelton on 21 March in the style expected for a ship of her circa and operational history. She will leave Lyttelton for the very last time accompanied by a Maori Cultural Group Waiata, gun salutes, LPC tug water salute, small boat sea salute, aircraft flypast, and fireworks.

HMNZS CANTERBURY will graciously farewell her home port with flags flying, band playing, guns banging and sirens blaring.

Invitation to the Media

Media are invited to request interviews with the Commanding Officer and crew by appointment, and to attend the activities on the attached programme. HMNZS CANTERBURY will be in the following areas on the dates indicated:

11 - 14 March Timaru

15 March Akaroa

16 - 21 March Lyttelton/Christchurch


HMNZS CANTERBURY was launched by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne (the Princess Royal) on 6 May 1970 and was commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Navy on 22 October 1971, and will be retired from active service early 2005. HMNZS CANTERBURY is the last of the Leander-class frigates commissioned into service in the Royal New Zealand Navy and her decommissioning in 2005 will mark the end of the steam turbine era.


Length: 113.4 m

Draught: 5.6 m

Displacement: 3,182 tonnes

Machinery: Two steam turbines driving twin shafts

Speed: 30 knots

Complement: 240 (Officers and Ratings)

Pennant Number: F421

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