Topics: Education, Te Arawa

Teacher, author, entertainer laid to rest

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Teacher, author and entertainer Beatrice Piatarihi Tui Yates (nee Grant) affectionately known as 'Aunty Bea' was taken to her final resting place today.

The 78-year-old passed away on Thursday at her home surrounded by whānau and friends.

Her funeral was held on Te Takinga Marae, Lake Rotoiti and her final journey, carried by her grandchildren.

Rehua Mihaka of Ngāti Pikiao, Te Arawa says, “Aunty Bea' she was a special lady, a powerful entertainer, in my opinion, she was the pinnacle of being a hostess”.

Since Friday, mourners have traveled near and far to pay their respects at Te Takinga Marae.

Māori Member of Parliament for Te Waiariki Tamati Coffey says, ”Aunty Bea was one of those people that you could always rely on to be everywhere”.

Te Ariki Morehu also of Ngāti Pikiao, Te Arawa says, “She was a selfless woman, she put others first, especially the youth”.

She taught around Rotorua for 50 years and people fondly remember 'Aunty Bea' for her tireless commitment to haka and entertainment.

“She was Tina Tuna of the Kaituna she would attend all the concerts and entertain everyone no matter where you were from,” says Mihaka. '

Aunty Bea' was taken to Puhirua Urupa where she will be buried near her son.