Patrice Dougan is the Herald's education reporter.

Millie delivers emotional eulogy for boyfriend Connor Morris

Crowds spill on to street for funeral at gang’s fight club

Millie Elder-Holmes (left) is comforted later at the Waikumete Crematorium. Photo / Brett Phibbs, Sarah Ivey
Millie Elder-Holmes (left) is comforted later at the Waikumete Crematorium. Photo / Brett Phibbs, Sarah Ivey

The daughter of the late Sir Paul Holmes farewelled her sweetheart in her own way last night, looking back on memories good and bad.

In an emotional message posted on Facebook, Millie Elder-Holmes described how Connor Morris, the man with "beautiful baby blues", took her heart.

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"He came into my life at a time when no one mattered to me, not even myself, and changed everything," the 26-year-old wrote.

Head Hunter Chris Morris, father of Connor Morris, in the hearse as they leave Fight Club on Marua Road.

Photo / Sarah Ivey

"When you meet that person you're meant to be with for the rest of your life you just know; you get drawn towards someone so hard it's hard not to notice. I felt this happen when I first met Connor."
Video: Head Hunters farewell Connor Morris


The tribute was posted hours after Mr Morris' funeral, held at the Head Hunters East Chapter's gym in Ellerslie yesterday.

Dressed in a T-shirt with his photo emblazoned on it, and the words "rest easy Connor Morris", Ms Elder-Holmes was among hundreds of mourners, including about 200 gang members, her brother Reuben, stepmother Lady Deborah Holmes, and former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Don McKinnon.

Sir Don McKinnon, Lady Deborah Holmes. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Mr Morris' father, Chris "One Eye" Morris, is a prominent member of the Head Hunters gang, and more than 100 motorbikes were parked outside the gym for the service.

Ms Elder-Holmes' Facebook message also described how the couple -- who battled drug addiction -- had helped each other over the years.

"We went through so much together, grew so much together, during the years we shared, and now he's gone I feel like I have lost a part of me. He taught me so much about life. He always encouraged and pushed me to reach my goals and aspirations, and gave me the best advice/perspective."

Mr Morris was her best friend and protector, she said. "Rest easy, baby, Joogie, Morrie, I love you more than I can say. You took my heart with you when you were taken from us."

Chris Morris also posted a tribute.

"Connor, you made me proud, you are the perfect son, my best friend, you grew into a man of honour with high morals, a man who will always be loved and missed. So go on your journey until we meet again, love from Mum and Dad."

Photos: Farewell for Connor Morris

Connor's sister Cymmion wrote: "I never thought I'd lose you, we were meant to grow old together, enjoy life together and eventually you were meant to give my daughters some cousins to play with."

Robin Cook owns the West Auckland home Ms Elder-Holmes shared with Mr Morris but met the couple only about six months ago.

Last night he described the pair as great tenants.

"The man had a heart of gold. I feel like I've lost a friend, even though I just met the man. Crazy but true."

Mr Cook, 51, attended yesterday's funeral and was impressed with how Ms Elder-Holmes carried herself.

"She was very composed so she's obviously done all the crying. Even during her speech she had a tear but she managed very well."

After the funeral, Sir Don said tributes had described Mr Morris -- who he met at Sir Paul's funeral -- as a good friend always ready to help people.

Ms Elder-Holmes had told mourners they "kept each other on the straight and narrow" and "looked after each other".

"She was clearly very, very attached to him, and had a lot of affection for him. Obviously, she will be missing him greatly."

Sir Don said he and his wife, Clare de Lore, had "a lot of love and affection" for Ms Elder-Holmes, and would continue to support her in coming weeks.

"Millie's been through a tremendous amount of difficulties in her life and unfortunately they've played out very much for the whole nation to witness, which puts a lot of pressure on her, as this one is now," he said.

Police are yet to arrest anyone over Mr Morris' death and are still searching for the murder weapon.

He was fatally injured in a street attack in Don Buck Rd, Massey, late on Saturday night. It is believed he was struck on the back of the head with a machete.

Read Millie's tribute to Connor below:


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