Les Downey Obituary, Death – It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Les Downey in Brisbane last night. Les held a prominent role within MOTAT’s rail team from the early 1970s until he relocated to Australia in the early 1990s, where he led the section for a significant portion of that time.
His dedication and tireless efforts made an indelible mark on MOTAT during this era, as he organized and guided the team’s activities with great passion. Even from afar, Les remained a steadfast supporter of MOTAT throughout his time in Australia, actively engaging with our community through our Facebook page.
Les was not only a dedicated railway enthusiast but also an accomplished photographer. His meticulous documentation of New Zealand’s railway history, capturing not only the general rail scenes but also the often-overlooked minutiae, holds immense value for railway researchers, restorers, and modelers today.
MOTAT is fortunate to house a substantial portion of Les’s photographic collection, much of which has been digitized and is accessible on MOTAT’s Collections Online website. Additionally, Les played a pivotal role in the New Zealand model railway community and was a key figure behind MOTAT’s Main Trunk model railway.
The loss of Les Downey leaves a void that will be deeply felt by all who knew him. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family during this difficult time, and we will forever cherish the enduring contributions and legacy he leaves behind.