One of Hawke's Bay's last remaining WWII survivors, Norman Bitters, has died at 97 years of age.

He died peacefully on Friday at the Taradale Masonic Rest Home.

Bitters served as part of the New Zealand Navy and managed to spend his last Anzac Day attending three different services.

Hawke's Bay Today had the privilege to follow Norman for his last Anzac Day and we asked why he continued to commit to so many services and do so much at his age.

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"I do it for those who aren't here. That's why I come every year and do my part every Anzac Day because I am only one of the many who have already gone and I do it for them."

Bitters continued to serve in the Navy for a few more years after WWII but left when his father got ill.

Norman Bitters died peacefully on Friday, September 6 at the Taradale Masonic Rest Home. Photo / Paul Taylor
Norman Bitters died peacefully on Friday, September 6 at the Taradale Masonic Rest Home. Photo / Paul Taylor

He built and moved into his home in Taradale to start a family in 1953. He and his family lived there for more than 40 years. He stayed close to his local RSA.

After his wife of 60 years, Mavis, started to suffer from dementia, they moved to a retirement home where she died.

He is survived by his daughter Stephanie and both of his sons who serve in armed services in other parts of the world, Rodney in Australia and John in America.

Taradale RSA president Brayden Coldicutt said Norman continued to help out around the club whenever he could and even the odd time would get on the dance floor.

"We are all so grateful for everything Norm has done for our wonderful club over many, many decades. His advice, passion, and funny wit will be forever missed at our club," Coldicutt said.

"Stand down Norman Bitters, your watch is over. We will remember you, lest we forget."

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• A celebration of Norman's life will be held at the Taradale RSA on Wednesday, September 11 at 2pm, followed by a private cremation.