Margaret Mahy farewelled at Hagley Park


TRIBUTE: Louise Easter, Rose Eastwood and Sue Colyer attend a public farewell for Margaret Mahy today.

Hundreds of people have gathered in Christchurch's Hagley Park today to farewell popular children's author Margaret Mahy.
The 76-year-old died last week after a short illness, and news of her death spread around the world.
A public memorial service will begin at 2pm at the Hagley Park Geo Dome, with seats for about 700 people filling quickly.
Daughter Penny Mahy said she wanted to involve the people of Christchurch because the city had been Mahy's home for a long time.
''We want to include all the people who she might have had contact with and who might have wanted to say goodbye,'' she said.
Two former library colleagues, Sue Colyer and Louise Easter, we're at the service to speak about their friend of more than 40 years. Mahy used to sing sea shanties and recite long poems to help make tedious tasks like shelving books go quickly, Easter said. "She made the time go quickly," Colyer said.
Fellow Governors Bay resident Rose Eastwood was often mistaken for Mahy by children at the local school. "She was the loveliest lady," she said.
Eastwood wore a bright wig to today's service as it "epitomises" Mahy's colourful personality.
"She was so entertaining," Eastwood said.

The service would include readings of parts of Mahy's books, photograph displays, a montage of family movies and songs from a choir of children.
Close family held a private funeral service for Mahy on Monday.