Thousands attend march for Blessie

Antonio Gotingco speaks to a large group of locals who have gathered to honour his wife's memory. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Antonio Gotingco speaks to a large group of locals who have gathered to honour his wife's memory. Photo / Steven McNicholl

Thousands have turned out for a candle-lit march tonight to remember murdered Auckland mother Blesilda "Blessie" Gotingco.

The 56-year-old disappeared after getting off a bus to walk the last few hundred metres home last Saturday night. She was on her way home from work in the city.

Gotingco's body was discovered in bush at the Birkdale-Glenfield cemetery two days later.

More than 2,000 people gathered at Birkdale Primary School tonight in Gotingco's memory in the neighbourhood where she died. Many wore green — Blessie's favourite colour — as they lit candles and paper lanterns which floated up into the night sky.

A 27-year-old man has been charged with murdering the mother-of-three.

Organisers of the march gave grieving widower Antonio Gotingco a plaque with his wife's picture on it.

Their children, Vincent and Bea, were given a wreath of flowers with a candle in the middle.

"I would like you to light that candle every time you feel the need to have your mum's presence in the room," they were told by one of the organisers.

Blessie Gotingco will be farewelled at a private family cremation on Tuesday.

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St Mary's Catholic Church parish priest, Father Craig Dunford, said her ashes would be brought to the Northcote church later that afternoon and for two days the public could pay their respects.

"It will be a little bit like open house for them. It's a particularly Filipino thing to do, " said Dunford.

A requiem mass will be held at 1pm on Thursday.

- Herald on Sunday

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