Popular teacher, author and entertainer Beatrice Piatarihi Tui Yates (Nee Grant) affectionately known as 'Aunty Bea' was taken to Te Takinga Marae today. The 78-year-old passed away yesterday.
Mourners continue to arrive to pay their respects to a woman loved by many.
Te Arawa elder, Ken Keneti says, “Today, Te Arawa as a whole are in mourning, saddened with her sudden departure. The suffering she felt is no more.”
Aunty Bea was known for her contribution to children's education as a teacher for 50 years.
Wetini Mitai-Ngatai of Te Arawa remembers that “she adopted many children during her time at schools, she would care for them and for everyone.”
“She was amazing. While on this earth, the majority of her time was spent teaching at Rotorua Lakes High School. Her passion was teaching children,” says Keneti.
She was also a keen haka performer for over sixty years and a manager for local shows.
"Aunty Bea was a humble, caring, kind-hearted women who loved entertaining and performing,” says Mitai-Ngatai.
Former student of Aunty Bea, Te Waata Cribb believes “our tribe has lost a great asset because of her skills.”
Aunty Bea will remain at Te Takinga Marae until her funeral service on Sunday.