Ōmapere's former Chief Fire Officer, Dene Preston, will be farewelled on Saturday with a full guard of honour made up of firefighters from every corner of Northland.

Mr Preston, who died peacefully at his home on April 24, aged 73, was a volunteer firefighter for 38 years, 10 of them, until 2011, as the Ōmapere Fire Brigade's CFO. He was rewarded for his long service with life membership.

He also known for his enthusiastic support of the annual Wild West Festival at Waimamaku, where he lived. His role, from the outset of the festival in 2003, was as the sheriff at a roadblock collecting donations from passing motorists.

A grocer by trade, Mr Preston was also a key member of his local gun club, the Waimamaku Hall Committee and the cemetery committee. He received a Far North District Council Citizen's Award in 2012.


He is survived by his wife Robin and children Clint and Korina.

He will return to his home this afternoon, with his funeral, which will include the guard of honour, at the Waimamaku Hall at 11am on Saturday, followed by interment at the Waiotemarama cemetery.