Hundreds gather to farewell Helena McAlpine

Helena's packed funeral celebrated her life, as hundreds of friends and family gathered to say goodbye
Helena McAlpine

Hundreds of mourners gathered at St James Theatre in Auckland’s Queen Street yesterday to farewell Helena McAlpine, who passed away last week after a six-year battle with cancer.

In a touching, emotional service kicked off with a rendition of ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ by Laughton Kora of Kiwi band Kora and led by broadcaster John Campbell, family and friends paid heartfelt tribute to their friend, sister, mother, daughter and wife Helena.

Among the many speakers – including Helena’s husband Chris, mother Julie and sister Renee – Helena’s 15-year-old daughter Shannon delivered one of the most touching tributes, vowing to make her mother proud.

“Its going to be hard but I know she’ll always…be proud of me. I’m gonna do big things for her.

“Thank you all for coming to celebrate my beautiful mother’s life, although it was short, it was breathtaking.”

The funeral service ended with Helena’s coffin being led out by a New Orleans-style jazz band, as funeral goers gathered to cheer on Helena for a final hurrah.

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