HMNZS Wellington


HMNZS Wellington was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy (RN) and the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). Originally commissioned in 1969 for the Royal Navy as HMS Bacchante, she joined the RNZN in 1982. On arrival in New Zealand, Wellington was decommissioned and entered an extended refit which ended in 1986. The limited modernization proved difficult and took an unexpected 4 years. When inspected prior to purchase in 1981, she was in the condition expected for an RN frigate after a dozen years’ service. However, in 1982 the frigate conducted a four-month winter patrol in the post-war Falklands exclusion zone with the other four RN unmodernised Leanders. Sea conditions in the Falkland exclusion zone mea...

Crossed the Bar: Mow-Lam Cheun

Mow-Lam Cheung, originally from Hong Kong, worked as a Royal Navy laundryman from 1960, when Hong Kong laundryman had contracts to serve the fleet based there. He worked on nine Royal Navy vessels before moving to New Zealand in 1984. He served as a civilian laundryman on board HMNZS SOUTHLAND (1984 to 1989) and HMNZ Ships CANTERBURY, WAIKATO and WELLINGTON from 1989 to 1997. He died on 24 April, aged 90, at North Shore Hospital with his son, Patrick Cheung, at his side – a concession from the hospital during COVID-19 lockdown. He was buried at Auckland Memorial Park, Silverdale.

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