Blessie remembered as 'simply the best'

By Patrice Dougan

Hundreds of people gather at St Mary's Church in Northcote for the funeral of Bessie Gotingco. Photo / Greg Bowker
Hundreds of people gather at St Mary's Church in Northcote for the funeral of Bessie Gotingco. Photo / Greg Bowker

The eldest son of Blessie Gotingco has paid tribute to the murdered Auckland mother.

In a heartfelt tribute at her funeral this afternoon John Gotingco described his mum as "simply the best", and a devoted mother who lived for her children.

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"There is a big void in our everyday lives, a space that she occupied, and that will never be filled," he said.

In a touching eulogy, he described the family's gratitude for the love and support shown by Blessie's workmates and the wider community.

He also praised his father Antonio as a "beacon of light and a pillar of strength" to the rest of the family at this difficult time.

Mourners packed St Mary's Catholic Church, Northcote, to capacity, forcing some to stand.

Many of the mourners at the requiem mass were dressed in green, Blessie's favourite colour, while others wore green ribbons on their lapels.

The funeral service was a celebration of Blessie's life, and Father Craig Dunford told her grieving family "there will never be a time when she does not exist".

The outpouring of goodwill since Blessie's death showed there was "incredible goodness in our community" and "one single act does not diminish the many acts of goodness", he said.

The Gotingco family broke down in tears as Fr Dunford presented Antonio with his wife's ashes at the end of the service.

Daughter Bea doubled over with grief, before Vincent and Antonio broke down into tears too. The family joined in a hug before leaving the church.

Blessie's ashes were placed into the back of a car and farewelled surrounded by the hundreds of mourners who spilled out of the church.

- APNZ

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