It was a sad and proud day for Auckland as a crowd of 10,000 publicly celebrated Jonah Lomu's life and contribution to world rugby and the New Zealand community at Eden Park.
Mayor Len Brown says the thoughts of Aucklanders at this time are first and foremost with Jonah’s family: “People from across the spectrum of the community feel a particular bond with an Aucklander who we are proud to call one of our greatest sons.”
Today's public memorial service followed the ’Aho Faka Famili (Day of the Family), which was held on Saturday 28 November at the Vodafone Events Centre in south Auckland. It was a special opportunity for Pasifika communities to acknowledge Jonah according to their traditions.
Jonah’s brother John Lomu says their family is grateful to Auckland Council and to the communities of south Auckland for supporting the family’s desire to adhere to their traditions.
“We know that Jonah was treasured by New Zealanders and people all over the world. For us, he was a brother, a son, and a man who was proud of his roots,” he says.