Honorary Consul General of the Philippines for Auckland and the North Island region for 26 years.
By Sheila Mariano
AUCKLAND – The Filipino community mourns the death of Graeme Edwin Dabb, QSM, on 11 February 2016.
A funeral service for Graeme was held on 16th February at the Grange Manor Chapel in Mt. Eden, attended by 130 people, including 30 Filipinos.
Graeme was the Honorary Consul General of the Philippines for Auckland and the North Island region for 26 years; from 1980 until he retired from the post in 2006.
He received the Queen’s Service Medal in 2009 for services to the Filipino community.
In the condolence messages on Facebook it is obvious that Graeme was a hero in the eyes of many pioneering Filipino migrants.
“… so sad to hear this news; the Filipino community has lost one of the best consul generals we’ve ever had.” – Kookie Samin
“He has been an advocate and provided a wide range of support to Filipino people and their families and facilitated government and business delegations on their visits to New Zealand,” says Dellia Delamar Solivio Middleton, a Filipino community leader, in her message on the Facebook page of the Ilonggo Integrated Association.
“He was instrumental in the naming of an Auckland reserve after Dr Jose P. Rizal, a Filipino national hero.”
In his funeral tribute Tony Noblejas, a Filipino Elder, identified two of Graeme’s greatest achievements during his tenure as Consul General:
Firstly, naming a reserve park in Avondale after the Filipino National Hero – Dr Jose P. Rizal.
And secondly, the raising of the Philippine flag on the Harbour Bridge on Philippine Independence Day.
Graeme once mentioned to community leaders that those accomplishments made him proud of the Filipinos.
Tony Noblejas recalled that Graeme Dabb was appointed the Honorary Consul “during the time of greater migration of Filipinos, around 2nd of July 1980.
“That was the very start of a long journey. We’ve been together for 27 years and more after that. Few of you know how much he has done for us – not just the Consular duties, but more … much, much more.
“Every time we had a celebration he would be there – night or day.
“He was an adviser, a friend and was always there for us. Some people called him Uncle. And when he was with us he was always calm and softly spoken.
“To us Filipinos Graeme was not just a Consul General; he was really a hero.
“Thank you for all the things you have done for us.
Graeme, may you rest in peace now.”