A combination of beautiful Māori singing and Catholic rituals at the funeral service for an adored Rotorua priest epitomised the man Father (Tim) Anton Timmerman was.

A lover of his Catholic church and the Māori people, Father Timmerman has been farewelled by about 600 people at his funeral service at St Mary's Church in Rotorua today.

Father Timmerman. Photo / Andrew Warner
Father Timmerman. Photo / Andrew Warner

Although born in the Netherlands, the 100-year-old priest described Rotorua as the love of his life, having spent 59 years of his 73 years being a priest serving the local community.

And while he planned his full Catholic funeral down to the finest of details, those among the hundreds of mourners agreed even "Pa Tim", as he was affectionately known, would have been chuffed with the passion of the singing and service.

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Bishop Stephen Lowe, Bishop of the Hamilton Diocese, speaking at today's funeral. Photo / Kelly Makiha
Bishop Stephen Lowe, Bishop of the Hamilton Diocese, speaking at today's funeral. Photo / Kelly Makiha

Father Timmerman died on Saturday in Auckland just four months after celebrating his 100th birthday.

Bishop Stephen Lowe, Bishop of the Hamilton Diocese, delivered the eulogy for Father Timmerman, saying he was born in the Netherlands on January 19, 1919 shortly after the end of World War I.

It was while the Nazis were invading the Netherlands that Pa Tim decided to study to become a priest.

Father Timmerman. Photo / File
Father Timmerman. Photo / File

"He was a priest for 73 years. A pretty good effort."

He served three parishes in Rotorua, which was when his "love story" for the city unfolded.

At some point, he was told he would need to move to Northland and Bishop Rowe said Father Timmerman loved Rotorua so much, he cried.

Funeral for Father Anton (Tim) Timmerman attracted up to 600 people. Photo / Kelly Makiha
Funeral for Father Anton (Tim) Timmerman attracted up to 600 people. Photo / Kelly Makiha

There was also a lighter side of Father Timmerman, including his sense of humour and love of a cold beer during happy hour.

"He had the wairua and he also had the jellybeans after mass on Sundays."

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Adored by Te Arawa, Father Timmerman's tangi was held this week at Hurungaterangi Marae.

Following his service he was buried at Rotorua Cemetery. The service was conducted by Bishop Stephen Lowe.