Family farewells their loudest supporter

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 05:00 07/12/2013
Motuiliu Groom
WILL BE MISSED: Motuiliu Groom

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Wellington will be missing one of its most boisterous sideline sports fans as a family prepares to farewell a much loved mother-of-three.

Motuiliu Groom, 49, of Lyall Bay, died on Thursday while aqua-jogging at the Kilbirnie swimming pool. Lifeguards, pool users, and emergency services all tried to revive her, without success.

Mrs Groom's family said she had been aqua-jogging in the past few years in a bid to get fit, and often went with friends. On the morning she died, she had been at the pool with a work colleague.

In the days since her sudden passing, eldest son Victor Groom, 20, said the family had been coping well but would miss the "bubbly" family woman, who went by the name Motu, terribly.

He had begun his electrician training this year at his mum's urging and said he would work hard to make her proud.

One of his happiest final memories was seeing her pleasure at the news that her youngest son was to be made a prefect next year, and that her daughter had earned an opportunity to play sport at a national level.

"She did a lot for us. She prepared us for later in life. I know she was proud of me, and my younger brother and sister," he said.

"She was always the loudest at our sports games and everyone around Wellington - they probably wouldn't know what her name was, but they could definitely hear her."

She was popular wherever she went, he said.

"She was kind to anyone and everyone. She never judged anyone and built relationships - she had heaps of friends from all over, especially in our sports community."

Mrs Groom leaves behind three children and her husband, Tusi. A family funeral will be held on Tuesday at the Hataitai Methodist Church.

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- The Dominion Post

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