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CP01 Matthew Leeming CP01 Matthew Leeming

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CP01 Matthew Matt Rowen Leeming

January 3, 1935 - November 16, 2019


Matthew Rowen Leeming,(Matt) born January 3, 1935, in Burnley, Lancashire, England, the only son of Hilda and Matthew Leeming.

Surrounded by his family, Matt ”passed the bar” quietly in his sleep on November 16, 2019.

Matt survived the Blitz with his parents in Kingston-on-Thames. He wanted to see the world and immigrated to Canada at the age of 21.He worked in a uranium mine in Elliot Lake Ontario and then moved to Vancouver. He enlisted in the navy at HMCS Discovery. After training in Cornwallis he was posted to HMS Skeena in Esquimalt. He met Edie in 1958 and they married May 2, 1959 and they had four lovely children who he cherished with all his heart and soul.

He subsequently was drafted to Submarines and was attached to the British Navy and did his training in Gosport, England.  He was on the commissioning crew of the H.M.C.S. Ojibwa.  He loved his years in submarines. He was a true submariner.  He returned to General Service and advanced to Chief Petty Officer, First Class.

One of his accomplishments that he was most proud of was his long distance running taking part in the first ever Victoria Marathon with his buddy Dwight Grieve.  In 1985, Matt, in commemoration of the 75th anniversary year of the Canadian Navy,  participated and completed the “Sea to Sea Run” from Halifax to Esquimalt. His fellow Chiefs in this epic run were:  Late Gordie Ball, Bill Mackie, Dwight Grieve and Dave Coughlin and Late Lieutenant Commander Gordie Jones. They completed this relay in 45 days. He also ran several marathons in Victoria, Seattle and Vancouver.

One of his last postings was as coxswain of the HMCS Ship Restigouche. He often said he loved every minute of his career in the navy. He served over 34 years in the Navy.

On retirement he and Edie moved to Duncan and used their home as a base while he continued jogging, travelling and showing Edie the world. He also loved boating, golfing, hunting with his sons and fishing. He looked forward to his annual moose hunting trips with Richard and David.

He was predeceased by both his parents, a stepfather and half-brother, as well as his treasured aunts and uncles, especially his uncle, Jim Birney.

He leaves to mourn his wife Edie, sons Richard and David, daughters Sandra (Stephen) and Jacqueline (Dave). Also his treasured grandchildren, Melissa (Phil), Paul, Keri, Jack, Derek and Rachel. Also, his little great grandchildren, Mackenzie, Khloe, Kaylee and Odin.

A huge thank you to Dr. Fitzgerald, Dr. McGee, Dr. Masuda, Dr. Rossouw, Homecare Community Nursing, Homecare Support and all other involved VIHA staff. We are grateful as a family for all the professional and caring medical assistance you provided for Matt.

He asked that his ashes be spread in the Straits of Juan de Fuca off Race Rocks. A private service will be held at a later date to honour his request.

No flowers by request. If you feel inclined, please make a donation to the Cowichan District Hospital or the Cancer Society, or charity of your choice.

What a life! What a man! A true gentleman!

Fair winds and following seas.


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

Pages: 12

From: Lynne Johnstone
Relation: Friend

Such a beautiful tribute to Matt. My deepest sympathy to Edie and family.

From: Marlene Todd
Relation: Friend

Another CPO1 has passed the bar and had joined many of his colleagues and friends. I knew Matt for many years and he was a friend and we are left with good memories of him and his wife Edie.

From: Terry and Joan Sings
Relation: FRIENDS

Dear Edie, So sad to hear the news from Canada. All Matt’s friends here in Hampshire, U.K. will miss him greatly. A special friend we always looked forward to seeing and a Genuine GENT. Our thoughts are with you all. ….Terry and Joan from Lymington plus Kath, Kerry and Steven from Fareham.

From: Barb Fast
Relation: Friends

So sorry to read about Matt’s passing

From: Barb Fast
Relation: Friends

So sorry to read about Matt’s passing

From: Judy (Lobb) Puddy
Relation: Early days boarding at the Y.

Edie, I was so sorry to read this. My sympathy to you and your family.

From: D.H.Buster Brown
Relation: Shipmate

A great life you had Mat and since reminded of all your accomplishments it was an honour to meet you way back when in U.K. Our crowd is dwindling and I among many will miss you. To the family, I shall be notifying Bob Davidson, another close winger of mats, Condolences and pleased for you that Mat really Minded His Bubble. Buster Brown

From: Vern Vogt
Relation: Family Friend

Edie and Family
Please accept our condolences for the loss of Matt. He was a good man.

Vern & Deb Vogt

From: Wayne Bennink
Relation: Served with this gentleman..

Hello: I had the privilege of serving on the Restigouche with CPO1 Leeming way back in the 80’s.

From: Bruce McDonald
Relation: friend

Dear Edie. I am sorry to hear about Matt. He was a wonderful friend and neighbour. He always stopped in to see me when he was in Parksville. Please pass on my condolences to the kids and please take care of yourself. Bruce McDonald

Pages: 12

Service Schedule

  Celebration of Life

Date & Time:
November 22, 2019
Beginning at 1:00pm

H.W. Wallace Cremation and Burial Centre
5285 Polkey Road
Duncan, BC Canada V9L6W3

5285 Polkey Road
Duncan, BC Canada V9L6W3

Memorial Gifts

No flowers by request. If you feel inclined, please make a donation to the Cowichan District Hospital or the Cancer Society, or charity of your choice.

Thank You Notice

Send Flowers

Floral Tributes may be ordered at:

H. W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre
Telephone: 1.250.701.001
Toll Free: 1.877.394.0001
Email:     hwburial@shawbiz.ca

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