An important piece of Rotorua history is gone with the death of 103-year-old treasure Ynys Fraser QSM.
The gracious and dignified Fraser has been described as a "one-off" who had a wonderful sense of fun.
Her family said she was "born to dance" and she lived so long simply because she loved life.
Among Fraser's long list of community services was being a patron of the Friends of QE Health, Charter member of Zonta, a member of various U3A groups and an active member of Friends of the Rotorua Museum.
The mother of two sons and two daughters collated and edited several books of fellow Rotorua residents' memories and was heavily involved in Rotorua Hospice. She was awarded a QSM for services to the community in 2003.
Born in London on August 3, 1917, Fraser moved with her family to Rotorua when she was nine months old, following her father, Dr Wilfred Stanley Wallis, who was the medical superintendent of King George V Military Hospital, which is today known as Rotorua Hospital.
Suffering from illness when she was little, she wasn't well enough to start school until she was seven and it always surprised her that she lived for so long considering her rough start in life.
She told journalist Jill Nicholas in an Our People article in the Rotorua Daily Post in 2016 that she had no idea why she had lived for so long, but put it down to "taking breaths of pure, beautiful fresh air".
Much of that air could be found at her iconic cottage at Hamurana Springs, where she had lived with her late husband, Kenneth Fraser, since the post-war days until she died. A walkway at the springs is named after her.
The Department of Conservation gave Fraser a special exemption to live in the cottage, despite it being conservation land, and a deal was struck with Ngāti Rangiwewehi when the land was handed back to Māori ownership to allow Fraser to remain in her home.
Given that her home was out of town, she insisted on continuing to drive, passing her driver's licence tests with flying colours right up until she was 99.
Fraser's son, Iain Fraser, said his mother always felt special local iwi allowed her to stay in her cottage.
"Ngāti Rangiwewehi were very good to her and very supportive of the family. She felt very secure and safe in those latter years."
He said the word that best described his mother was "enthusiastic".
"Whatever she did she did with enthusiasm and whatever she did she did it well. If she got involved with something, it would happen."
The secret to her long life, he said, was the fact she loved it so much.
"She loved living. She enjoyed every day and had just the most positive attitude. Every morning she woke up she was ready to enjoy that day."
He said as a mother she would always be there for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
"She used to have a huge diary of all the things she was doing but if anyone of us needed her, she would drop everything for us."
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said she dealt with the Fraser family as Conservation
Minister to grant the exemption.
"She loved her cottage and lived alone in such an isolated spot. She had no fear as she was a local icon and dearly loved."
Chadwick said she had cherished memories of Fraser dancing at public events, including the 100th celebration for QE.
"She had a great love of music and I will hold a memory of her dancing wildly with her scarf flying in the breeze at the Arts Village jazz festival. She must have been all of 99.
Our Isadora Duncan is now at rest. Thank you for your shared joy."
Former Rotorua Museum guide Ann Somerville said she had a long involvement with Ynys during her 23 years at the museum.
"She was always so involved, with huge generosity, and always such a gracious and dignified lady with a huge sense of fun. She'd grace every occasion, would come in and was so charming and would talk to everyone."
Somerville said Ynys had a way of encouraging all artists simply by being there and sharing her knowledge.
"She kept on living in her wee cottage and was just a one-off. She crossed generations and Māori and European, she straddled the worlds with grace."
Fraser is survived by her children Christine, Iain, Charlotte and David, 14 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren. Her funeral is at 2pm today at Hamurana Springs Park.