We’ve had a very sad few weeks in Orangeland, with the passing of an influential person in the history of Stray, Spaceships and really New Zealand tourism in general (Moa Trek, Contiki NZ, Leslie Coaches, Kiwi Experience..) Neil’s father Leon Geddes, passed away on February 13th after working in the ‘Bus Garage’- the home to thousands of buses, campervans and of course busman’s stories, over the years.
Leon operated trips and provided buses to many companies over the years, and drove a school run right up until last year. He helped with the original design of Spaceships campervans in 2004, and to quote Neil “I gave him very specific plans for my idea and he built a prototype which was different – and better – in every single way. ‘Spaceships were born’. We contracted him and the guys in the workshop to build 30, somehow that became 700!”
At Leon’s funeral, Taxi, Stray’s Operations Manager said “When I met Neil I thought wow, this guy can really talk – then I met Leon and he talked even more than Neil! I’ve learnt so much from Leon about buses and drivers over the years, I’ll continue to use and pass on this valuable knowledge to our crew and other drivers.”
Leon will be sadly missed by all the Stray and Spaceships crew, he was a true legend as a father, father in law, bus driver, tour leader, teacher, engineer, friend and Kaumatua of Orangeland.