The dying words of her sick sister are what Jeanette Doull chose to write in Nelson Mandela's memory book.
The Palmerston North retiree travelled to Wellington on Monday to sign the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader's book of remembrance.
She made the trip by train and was the first to arrive at the South African High Commission, but was asked to wait while Prime Minister John Key penned his message first.
He wrote: "The people of New Zealand mourn the loss of a great man, a leader, a man of unity and kindness. May he RIP" - Mrs Doull took a photo of it.
She was second and drawing inspiration for her message from her sister, Tina Wells, who died in 2000 of leukaemia, she wrote: "You changed the world for the better and you will always be in our thoughts. Now you can rest in peace, perfect peace."
Mrs Doull said that moments before her sister died, she said that to her: "I'll be in peace, perfect peace", and it seemed fitting to mourn Mandela with the same sentiment.
"He's been my hero, but I never thought I would be the first to sign his official memory book, after the prime minister, of course," Mrs Doull said.
"I just thought that was very special, and something I'll cherish, because his message was important to me - it's true to see the person and not the colour."
Memorial spaces have been set up around the country in Mr Mandela's memory, including one at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit on Broadway Ave, Palmerston North, where the city is hosting a memorial service for Mr Mandela this Sunday.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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