A non-Maori former captain of the Maori All Blacks will be laid to rest on Wednesday in Masterton. Alan Blake died on Sunday, aged 87.
Alan Blake, or "Kiwi", as he was better known, played for the New Zealand Army rugby team, also known as the Kiwis, in the last year of World War II.
He went on to play more than 170 first-class games, including 108 for Wairarapa, one All Black Test and 26 games for the Maori All Blacks.
His brother-in-law, George Mahupuku, himself a former Maori All Black captain, told Waatea News that Kiwi Blake didn't speak of his whakapapa, which included an Afro-American grandfather.
"He was a good solid fellow, he didn't boast or anything, he just got on and did his job."
Kiwi Blake's service is at the Rosewood Chapel in Masterton.