Grande dame farewelled in style

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 15:47 08/11/2012
Lady June Blundell
JOHN SELKIRK/ Fairfax NZ

SAD LOSS: The Blundell grandchildren together reciting a prayer for their grandmother June.

Lady June Blundell
FAREWELLED: Lady June Blundell.

Relevant offers

National

Forget blowing out the candles: try blowing out the neighbourhood Surgery rescheduled as junior doctors strike for safer working hours Victim says he was 'brainwashed and violated' by former lover's fraud Elderly woman with Alzheimer's still missing in Auckland Rescue underway for three women in Fiordland National Park Thieves hit The Tool Shed in early morning ram raid 'Give us her passport': Langdon custody battle intensifies Keeping them fed and watered at the waka ama nationals One injured as Auckland house destroyed in fire Hazmat callout after liquid nitrogen leaks on freight train in South Auckland

One of New Zealand's grande dames was given a farewell in Auckland today at a funeral service she organised herself at the Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Lady June Blundell, one of the longest serving members of the Order of New Zealand, died in Auckland last week, aged 90.

She was the widow of Sir Denis Blundell, the first New Zealander to become resident governor general, and a patron of several major charities.

The Blundells, who played a major role in the legal and social life of Wellington, owned the capital's Evening Post newspaper.

Dean of Auckland, Reverend Jo Kelly-Moore, described Lady Blundell as a "role model for many, supporter of so many".

In a eulogy her son, Richard Blundell, told around 600 people that his mother had "launched six ships" when her husband was New Zealand High Commissioner to London. She made friends easily and from her early years had been involved in volunteering and charities.

She was patron of St Johns in New Zealand and was "fiercely independent" even up to the point when she used a medical alert bracelet after she collapsed. After the paramedics treated her, she told them to go as she was fine.

They insisted instead that she go to hospital.

"She gave her soul to her work," he said.

As well as St Johns, she worked with Child Cancer Foundation and the Kickstart programme for children at the Homai School for the Blind. She was extensively involved in charity work in Wellington, including fund raising for the Wellington Free Ambulance.

Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae lead the mourners, who included former governor general Dame Catherine Tizard and her former MP daughter, Judith Tizard, former prime minister Jim Bolger, MP John Banks and Sir Edmund Hillary's widow, Lady June Hillary.

The service included a parade of the senior members of the Order of St John and a 150 strong St John's honour guard.

Ad Feedback

- Auckland Now

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content