It was a very, very sad day in the Herbarium yesterday as it was Leander’s last day at the museum before (literally) heading off for pastures new. Leander has worked as the Curator of Botany here for the past 5 and a half years and will be greatly missed by all the staff, volunteers and students who were lucky enough to work with him.
Leander is leaving the museum to build a new life in Wales. He and his wife and 3 children are going to live at Lammas an eco village in Pembrokeshire. They will be leaving their house in Liverpool to first live in static caravan while they build their very own eco house out of straw bales.
In typical Leander style he arrived at work for his last day wearing his ‘vintage’ 70’s suit and platform shoes.
At our last morning tea break with Leander, Matt, one of our volunteers presented Leander with the gift of ‘courage’ as he had done some research and found out that it was the one thing Leander would need most for his new endeavor.
At 1pm we had a goodbye lunch (with lots of cakes) with some of the volunteers who have worked with Leander in the herbarium. The volunteers had had a collection for Leander and the money and a card was presented to him after lunch. The volunteers have requested that Leander and his family use the money towards the fruit and nut trees and bushes they are going to get for their plot. After all these years caring for dead plants we all just hope that Leander can look after living plants too. Leander then gave a short speech thanking everyone for their hard work in the herbarium and said that working with the volunteers had been one of the most rewarding parts of his job and how much he would miss them all and our morning tea breaks together. Despite it being Leander’s leaving party, he presented Lindsey and myself each with a large and very beautiful bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates (which he had brought in from Liverpool on bike and train and foot whilst wearing the 70’s suit and in platform shoes!!) – thank you Leander.
After work we headed down Oxford Road to Kro2 where many, many friends and colleagues from the museum and the University came along to say goodbye to Leander and to wish him well on his next adventure. Earlier in the day Henry McGhie had given Leander a card (craftily and appropriately designed and made by Steve MacCabe) and present from the staff of the Museum and I know Leander would like to say a big thank you again to everyone who contributed to his leaving gift – especially if he didn’t get chance to speak with you personally yesterday.
So goodbye and good luck to you, Leander. It has been a pleasure and a privilege working with you.
You can follow Leander’s progress in Wales on his new blog – http://millpondpostcards.wordpress.com/ (I have put the link on the Blogroll here too)