Respected Ngāi Tūhoe elder and educationalist Boy Thompson Biddle has passed away peacefully in Whakatāne.
Biddle was a staunch leader of his marae, Te Rewarewa, in Ruatoki and was the oldest remaining elder of his hapū, Te Māhurehure.
He was a loyal advocate for his hapū and wider iwi, and dedicated his life to the betterment of his people.
Born in Ohāua in 1930, the 88-year-old was a well-known and influential teacher in the Whakatāne region, with a career spanning more than 40 years.
Alongside his late wife Maureen, Biddle spent over 30 years teaching at Trident High School in Whakatāne, where they nurtured many tamariki from around the area.
Biddle was surrounded by his whānau at the time of his death and leaves behind six children, and many mokopuna.
He will lie in state at Te Rewarewa Marae in Ruatoki. A karakia will take place at the marae at 11am on Saturday, before he is laid to rest at the Te Rewarewa Marae urupā.
E te taonga o mate, tāoki mai rā ki raro i tō maunga tāwharau o Taiarahia.