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Sir Paul Holmes' funeral: Tributes from friends and family

Published: 2:02PM Friday February 08, 2013 Source: ONE News

Watch Sir Paul Holmes' funeral here.

Family, friends and past colleagues have gathered to pay tribute to Sir Paul Holmes at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland today.

Below are some of the tributes.

Peter Bevan

Close friend of 50 years Peter Bevan has shared his memories of growing up with Sir Paul, saying he was an "extraordinary man with an extraordinary life".

He described going to school and university with Sir Paul and how he came to be a "Kiwi icon."

"Who would have thought in those early days that our cheeky little friend would become this country's leading broadcaster," he said.

Bevan spoke of Sir Paul's love for people and work ethic.

"He worked bloody hard and set exacting standards for those around him," he said.

"He has mastered the art of telling the story and brought a sense of theatre to his work as a journalist," Bevan said.

"But, sometimes it seemed that Paul was the news. Happily and shamelessly he milked it".

Bevan said New Zealanders loved Sir Paul "for being honest about his weaknesses" and that his "capacity to love, had no limits."

"Paul was all things to all people," he said.

Mike Williams

Close friend and former Labour Party president Mike Williams says Sir Paul was blessed with three girls in his lifetime.

His first wife Hinemoa, their daughter Millie, and his widow Deborah.

Williams also said Sir Paul campaigned tirelessly against methamphetamine, with latest statistics show the epidemic is waning - something Williams says Paul had a lot to do with.

"It was Paul's determination to save parents and kids from this awful nightmare that saw him spot light this problem and campaign tirelessly against the awful damage that was sleeping under our noses," he said.

Williams said Sir Paul "had the common touch, he was popular and he was genuinely interested in politics".

Williams says Sir Paul had a "mad and outrageous streak".

"And yesterday to symbolise this aspect of his complex charter we left one of the casket lid screws loose."

At the close of his tribute, Williams said, "Grief is the price we pay for love."

John Hawkesby

Former colleague John Hawkesby has paid tribute to his friend saying Sir Paul was a compelling and gifted man who "spoke and wrote to us, for us and about us".

"He saw it coming and so did we, 62 is way too young but Paul was never going to make a quiet exit."

Hawkesby said initially he and Sir Paul were not "that mate-y" and held each other at "arm's length."

However he said he came to see Sir Paul as a "very gracious, generous of spirit and big man."

"On second thought he dared to dream and that was part of his charm."

"A man of all seasons," he said.

"Sir Paul didn't want anyone to feel sorry for him, as he didn't feel sorry for himself, he knew his time was up."

"Go well Sir Paul, rest easy, God knows you've earned it. Thanks for the memories and the big, big heart, so long you clever, sharp, courageous cheeky little whitey."

Bill Francis

Former Newstalk ZB boss and friend Bill Francis has described Sir Paul as the "greatest broadcasting talent of our time".

He described a discussion the pair had when Sir Paul missed work after a big night out.

"For 22 years Sir Paul got up at 4am for radio and for 16 of those years, he departed for TV at 7:30pm, only once did he fail to appear on the appointed time," Francis said.

He said Paul had a vision on how to communicate in a "distinctly New Zealand way."

He said Sir Paul wrote brilliantly, and could turn around a script quickly during a news bulletin and then deliver it "with the panache of a born actor".

Francis said Sir Paul wanted success "more than anyone I ever knew."

"But he also worked harder than anyone I ever knew."

Francis spoke of Sir Paul's enormous sense of loyalty to the organisations and people he worked with.

"Paul was not a saint, he had demons to contend with...yet he was always kind and always lovable," he said.

Millie Elder-Holmes and Reuben Holmes

Sir Paul's children, Millie and Reuben both read out quotes.

Millie read a quote, from "dad."

"Remember this, love always wins. It might take longer than evil and hatred, resentment and envy, but love always wins."

"Always, trust love, remember, water can cut through iron."

"Find out who you are, know who you are," Millie said.

"Know your strengths and weaknesses."

"Be proud of your strengths and laugh at your weaknesses, be brave even if you are frightened."

"Value yourself; there is only one of you. Don't worry if you feel different from everyone else, we're all different."

"Good luck to you all, but make your own luck."

"If you can dream it, begin it."

Ruben read a quote from Bill Hicks.

"Life is like a ride in an amusement park and when we choose to go on it we think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are."

"And the ride goes up and down and around and around and it has thrills and chills and it's very brightly colored and it's very loud. "

"And it's fun - for a while."

"Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question; is this real? Or is this just a ride?."

"And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, and they say, "Hey, don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because...this is just a ride."