Len Snee tragically killed – leave a tribute

Len Snee - RIP

Len Snee - RIP

Len Snee, Senior Constable with the New Zealand Police was tragically killed this morning while on duty in Napier.

I remember Len Snee from my student days at Central Hawkes Bay College. I looked up to him, partly because he was at least three years ahead of me and taller and much bigger, but also because he was one of those quiet confident types that seem to command respect just by being themselves.

I played the part of Oliver in the high school musical production in 1974 – I was a very skinny 13 year old kid. If my memory serves me correctly Len Snee played the part, somewhat reluctantly, of Mr Bumble. He was instructed to grow sideburns, no doubt in an attempt to mimic Harry Secombe who played that role in the 1968 film. Sideburns appeared forthwith. He was a man with a beard even at 17 years of age.

As well, Len Snee was admired by the girls – my sister can vouch for that. He was in the First XV and (again, forgive my shaky memory) was excellent at athletics. All of this no doubt assisted in his desire to be a police officer. In the mid seventies, growing up in a small country town, and with limited horizons, becoming a police officer would always be a good choice. Certainly better than working in a bank, or becoming a teacher.

So, even though I haven’t seen Len Snee for over thirty years, and even if I had there is a certainty that he might not recognise or remember me, I still feel somehow connected to the pain that his family is going through today. There’s a road at the end of the Takapau Plains called Snee Road. It sounds silly but every time I pass that road I’m reminded of Len Snee – regardless of how well I did or didn’t know him.

There will be many many people out there who will have fond and happy memories of Len. Please feel free to leave your comments here for his family and friends.

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  • By Chris white, May 7, 2009 @ 10:47 pm

    i was nearly attcked in taradale and i went into the local dairy and ask them to ring the cops and len snee came and talk to me and its sad for his family and friends of hawkes bay

  • By Robyn, May 10, 2009 @ 12:42 am

    I also remember Len from Central Hawkes Bay College. I was a young girl who liked the activities within the school . The musical Oliver was one of my favourite haunts at lunchtime rehersals. I went there to see a my favourite person in the entire school… “Len” . Not only did I attend the musicals but I loved to see him play rugby. Len was the person that expressed true friendship, honesty and respect. These qualilites showed me how things should be. Len was a great man who has been able to sprinkle love to all who knew him

  • By Paul Ellmers, May 11, 2009 @ 12:24 pm

    The only way I can describe Len Snee is – one of the worlds nice guys. I remember playing rugby against Len when he was the Takapau midfield lynchpin and I was a scawny halfback playing for Excelsior. A strong running and bloody hard tackling player, Len was fearsome as well as fearless as a player, but afterwards always eager to have a chat and beer with everyone. We were later to play in the same rep team together where I enjoyed his company even more so. An unforgettable great man, all round great bloke who seemed to never age (unlike some of us) and always took time to say gidday. Family and friends have lost a true hero in more ways then one – Kia Kaha. I’m sure like all my old rugby colleagues, we are all proud to have known Len. RIP mate, you’ll always be remembered

  • By marjorie, May 11, 2009 @ 5:19 pm

    to a cousin who was admires by all good bye from me and all of takapau

  • By Richard, May 13, 2009 @ 10:04 pm

    I was in that show too-I was Bill Sykes.I was also in the 1st xv with him. Like you my paths have not crossed [often] with len since our last footie games together in the early 80′s.
    Not a place or time for waxing lyrical except to say hes forever in my mind.
    Hiya Doaky!

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