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Beloved kaumatua dies after long illness

Last updated 05:00 11/04/2014
Kaumatua Tame Cassidy
GREAT MANA: Kaumatua Tame Cassidy.

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Kaumatua Tame (Tom) Cassidy was a gentle and caring man who would pop in for a cup of tea and offer help to those who needed it.

He was a man of great mana and heart who had a cheeky laugh. He was Mt Roskill's key kaumatua, those who knew him say.

Bridging conflict and helping young people achieve were what he was best at.

After being unwell for a long time and on dialysis, Cassidy died on March 16.

Mt Roskill MP Phil Goff had visited him in hospital.

"He was always available and willing to help. He was friendly and welcoming to all, with a huge heart and commitment to Mt Roskill-Puketapapa."

Puketapapa Local Board member Michael Wood says a community farewell may be held, but no date has been set yet.

"He was a very humble person and a great support to many people."

Zena Wrigley of the Roskill Community Network says the Cassidy touched many hearts which was evident in the tributes from those who attended his tangi.

Mt Roskill Grammar's kapa haka group "really honoured him" with a moving performance.

He was the kaumatua for Mt Roskill Grammar, May Rd, Hay Park and Wesley primary schools, as well as Waikowhai and Wesley intermediates.

Cassidy has welcomed many dignitaries into Mt Roskill including former prime minister Helen Clark. He would lead official ceremonies with a mihi or welcome.

Wesley Primary School principal Rae Parkin says Cassidy had been involved with the school for more than 20 years and was a man of great mana.

"What he said was always worth listening to."

Wesley Intermediate's Nigel Davis says Cassidy was "the sort of guy who would pop in for a cup of tea, asking if anyone needed help".

Wrigley knew Cassidy for many years and says he had a great sense of humour.

"Tame's generous spirit and beautiful smile will always be remembered by the many who knew him. He will be greatly missed by us all and we extend our condolences to his wife, family and extended whanau."

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- Central Leader

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