15 Nov 2009

Memorial service for Howard Morrison in Auckland

6:17 am on 15 November 2009

Sir Howard Morrison has been remembered by family and friends at a memorial service in St Matthews in the City in Auckland.

Sir Howard, one of New Zealand's best-loved entertainers, died in his sleep at his Rotorua home in September, aged 74.

About 100 family and friends of the Morrison family gathered to remember and pay tribute to him on Saturday.

Sir Howard's son, Howard Morrison Jnr, told the audience it was his father's wish for a memorial service to be held in Auckland to give friends the opportunity to share their memories of his life.

Music featured strongly alongside anecdotes, with singing from members of the Howard Morrison quartet, as well as the Yandall Sisters, who had sometimes sang backing vocals for Sir Howard.

A rousing haka from family members closed the service, with Sir Howard's daughter Donna Mariana Grant telling those assembled that while her father is sadly missed, he will remain in their hearts.

Ms Grant says she intends to undertake projects in her father's memory, including rebuilding houses in Samoa for those affected by the tsunami in the Pacific.

Sir Howard died just days before the devastating tsunami hit.

Ms Grant says she is organising family and friends to help build 25 fale. Fundraising is under way and the family hopes to return to Samoa in December.