Leslie John Kenneth Hastings (1934-2021) passed away on June 28th in Nanaimo. John is greatly missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and the many people whose lives he touched around the world during his 87 years.
John was born in Poona, India where he lived until the age of 10. His love of model trains began when he was invited to the birthday party of the Mir of Khaipur’s son where he saw an extensive and elaborate British model train layout. His enchantment with model trains never waned. Being unable to directly return to the United Kingdom during the war, he spent the next two years at Highbury School in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Back in the United Kingdom, he attended St. Bede’s School in Eastbourne, England and later at Loretto School in Musselburgh, near Edinburgh, Scotland. During his youth into early manhood he had a passion for field hockey and was a mad keen cricketer. Howzat!
After leaving Loretto School, John served in the military for two years with the Gordon Highlanders, much of that service taking place in Malaya. John then began a career which spanned over 34 years in the shipping and cruising industry, in which he was able to realize his passions for transportation modalities and travelling the world. He first joined the Orient Line in their London office, which later merged with the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) to become the P&O-Orient Line. While with P&O he moved to the United States. After working in California and Washington with a few different companies while the industry grew enormously in operations and popularity, he closed the loop and returned to the P&O subsidiary Princess Cruises until retirement.
John was known for having a kind and gentle spirit, his ability to converse with so many people from different walks of life, and his sense of humour. He often related to people with this “British” humour while living much of his adult life in North America. When asked what his initials L.J.K. stood for, John was quick to respond “Lord John the King”. Quite serendipitously later in life, the playful idea of a self-given title came to fruition to a certain extent. While in his fifties, John’s family was notified by researchers from the British Museum and India House with documentation that he was a descendant of Tipu Sultan, the highly respected ruler of Mysore State, India. He was delighted with this discovery which gave him a deeper connection to the country in which he was born. He enjoyed researching this part of his family history which provided openings for many conversations. He also made an extended return trip to India with family members to visit sites pertaining to their newly found ancestral roots.
Post-retirement, John and Gwen moved to Vancouver Island and enjoyed the beautiful, peaceful and natural wonders of this part of the world. They loved to host family and friends at their island home, and spent many happy times travelling the world.
John is survived and deeply missed by Gwen, his wife of 32 years; three children Andrew, Jennifer and Chris; two grandchildren Ashley and Chase; sister Margaret; and much-loved in-laws, nephew and nieces.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, John’s family suggests donations to the Heart & Stroke Canada www.heartandstroke.ca or Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs www.vicompassiondogs.ca.
Lives Cherished and Celebrated
To send flowers to John's family, please visit our floral store.