A farewell for Hotere

The community Ralph Hotere fell in love with and in which made his home will have a chance to farewell the artist before his Requiem Mass this morning.

Port Chalmers and Careys Bay residents are expected to line the streets early today to pay their respects as Hotere's funeral cortege passes through the port on the way to an 11am service at St Joseph's Cathedral.

The 117 pupils of Port Chalmers School will be among those lining the streets.

''We're very much a community school and Ralph was a big part of the community here. He's one of us,'' school principal Vicki Nicolson said yesterday.

''He's done a few paintings for the school in the past as fundraisers and also held workshops here.

''He was a treasured part of our community and it's funny how many of the kids have got stories about him.''

Hotere died in Dunedin last Sunday, aged 81. The cortege will leave Careys Bay at 9.15am to travel to Dunedin. The Dunedin City Council will be represented at the service by Mayor Dave Cull and Dunedin Public Art Gallery director Cam McCracken.

The Requiem Mass is at 11am today at St Joseph's Cathedral.

Tomorrow, Hotere will be taken to the Matihetihe marae, at his birthplace at Mitimiti, in Northland, for his tangi.

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