Father Anton Timmerman dies at the age of 100


Father (Tim) Anton Timmerman died last weekend in Auckland just four months after celebrating his 100th birthday.

He was a priest for 73 years and served in Rotorua for over 60 years. He retired in 2008.

Originally from the Netherlands, Timmerman studied to be a priest there, being ordained in 1945.

In 1949 he came to New Zealand with four other Mill Hill priests.

He was appointed to  Waitaruke near Whangarei for a short time, before moving to Rotorua where he stayed until his retirement.

Timmerman had served at St Michael’s, St Mary’s and St Joseph’s parishes.

He was involved in setting up the Catholic schools Mary MacKillop College and Edmund Rice College which merged to become John Paul College.

He was also on the committee for the centennial celebration of Catholic education in Rotorua in 2003.

Even though coming to New Zealand was not Timmerman’s own choice he eventually came to call New Zealand home.

“This is my country, these are my people now,” he told the Rotorua Daily Post at the time of his retirement.

On Monday Ngāti Whakaue kaumatua Monty Morrison and a contingent from Rotorua went to Auckland to bring Timmerman to Hurungaterangi Marae where his tangi took place.

The bishop of Hamilton Stephen Lowe presided at his funeral at St Mary’s Church in Rotorua on Wednesday.

The service, which was a combination of Māori and Catholic rituals, was attended by about 600 people.

John Paul College principal Patrick Walsh said Timmerman was a priest with deep faith and a generous heart.

“He had a great love of young people and Māori culture, going as far as to learn te reo Māori.

He also had a great sense of humour and humility about him,” Walsh said.


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

Tags: , ,