Trevor Albert was a leader in all he did.
Held in high esteem in New Zealand's Maori rugby circles, he was equally respected among hunting, farming and Bay of Plenty rugby communities.
Trevor died this week after suffering from long-time health issues at the age of 79. Due to restrictions of Covid-19 alert level 3 Albert will be farewelled with a private cremation ceremony, to be followed by a public service at a later date.
He is survived by wife Merlene, daughter June and son Steven.
Though originally from Northland, Trevor grew up in Tihoi with his older brother Boydie and his wife Niki. Their son John Albert, who was about 13 years younger than Trevor, said he was more like an older brother to him than an uncle.
He said Trevor felt the same way, often giving him cheek and telling him "you're not the oldest, I am".
John said Trevor's passing, was a huge loss to his whānau and the Rotoiti community.
"He had a good work ethic, he was a leader of men, he was a man of principle," John said.
If there was a crisis in any situation, John said Trevor was the man to relieve it.
"I'll always remember him as some one who was always there when you needed. He was just that calming influence. Uncle Trev was the pacifier."
On the rugby field however, John said Trevor "was feared".
Though originally from Northland, Trevor found his place with Rotoiti Rugby Club, first joining the club as a coach in 1974 and holding the positions of chairman between 1976-2001 and president between 2000-2005.
Despite being a staunch Rotoiti supporter, his love of rugby extended beyond the club, as a Bay of Plenty selector in 1999 and 2000, becoming the second Māori to be named president of the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union in 2005 and 2006 and becoming a Bay of Plenty Rugby Union life member in 2010.
John said many rugby players who went on to representative teams have been guided by Trevor.
"He helped out a lot of people along the way," he said.
Former Bay of Plenty Steamers captain Wayne Ormond was one of the many, John said.
Bay of Plenty Rugby chief executive Mike Rogers said Trevor was an avid supporter of Bay of Plenty rugby.
"Our deepest condolences go out to Merlene and his whānau at this time. Trevor was passionate about the Rotoiti Rugby Club and he was very knowledgeable about the game of rugby," Rogers said.
"He was a man of great mana, he will truly be missed."
Rogers said Albert's services to rugby were recognised in 2011, with a gong at the Bay of Plenty Sports Awards.
"Stalwart is often used too easily these days but when it comes to Rotoiti rugby, I think Trevor epitomises the word stalwart."
The Central sub union also honoured Albert with a life membership in 2008, and also held a role on the New Zealand Māori Rugby Board in 1994.