From the preface of a German monograph:
"Last, not least danke ich all jenen, die das Geschehen aus der Ferne verfolgt haben und gerade deshalb besonders nahe waren." (italics the author's). Roughly (very roughly) translated: "...I thank all those whose efforts from afar have had a very close effect."
Written rhetoric worthy of a banquet speech, no? And it's made all the more quaint by the absence of the "but" in "Last, but not least."