Former Rotorua woman Daphne Christophers (nee Hutchings), QSM, died over the weekend at her Mount Maunganui home, aged 81.

Mrs Christophers was well known in Rotorua music circles for more than 60 years and was awarded a Queen's Service Medal in 2012 for her services to music.

Former Rotorua mayor Grahame Hall nominated her for the award.

"She was a really remarkable woman who had a huge commitment to the community through her music and her other talents," he said. "She was always incredibly willing to give of her time and expertise to help organisations and was a deeply religious person."


Mrs Christophers made an early musical impression, playing the piano as an 8-year-old to entertain soldiers stationed in the area.

After playing at the first Rotorua Competitions in 1945, she accompanied hundreds of singers at subsequent competitions, helped set up many musical and piano groups in the Rotorua area and was instrumental in the establishment of the Rotorua Registered Music Teachers' Association.

She was its chairwoman for seven years and was head teacher at the Yamaha Music School for 15 years.

Born and raised in Ngakuru, she was well known for accompanying school productions and carol services and for organising fundraising concerts.

Mrs Christophers and her late husband Brian had seven children.

A Requiem Mass will be held at Ngakuru Church today with the burial at Ngakuru Cemetery.

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