It was one of Sue Westwood's last requests that her family and friends should gather at the Wanganui Golf Club.

Club member and administrator Pat Follows said Westwood expressed her wish to her family and the club was happy to oblige.

Around 180 people gathered at the Belmont Links clubhouse to celebrate the life of the long-serving district councillor on Saturday.

"Golf was a great love for Sue and I was privileged to speak about that part of her life," said Follows.

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"In 1960 she was a member the Manawatu/Wanganui provincial women's team that won the Russell Grace Cup and she was very proud of that achievement."

Follows said she was right to be proud as golf was still very much a male-dominated sport at the time.

"I know she really missed golf when she had to give up playing."

"There are quite a few trophies in the cabinets with the name Sue Westwood on them.

"There is her cup for winning the Silver Championship in 1985 and a number of others where she was a member of a winning team or partnership."

Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall, former council chief executive Kevin Ross and former Whanganui MP Chester Borrows all paid tribute to a woman who devoted 29 of her 79 years serving as a councillor and was still serving on a number of committees.

McDouall said Westwood was the first "lady councillor" to serve in the district when she was elected to the former Waitotara County Council.

"Her aim was always to make democracy work," he said.

He described Westwood as a "wonderful mentor" who was the first person to encourage him to stand for the mayoralty.

The mayor suggested that the Montgomery Reserve in Otamatea should be renamed in Westwood's honour and Councillor Charlie Anderson voiced his agreement.

Follows said the gathering was a "lovely and pleasant" occasion that Westwood would have approved of.