Wellington Scoop

Funeral Mass for Tim Francis

There is to be a funeral mass at St Peter’s in Willis Street on Thursday afternoon for retired diplomat Tim Francis, who died this week aged 87. He was New Zealand Ambassador to the United States from 1988 till 1992.

Jim and Mary Barr have written about his strong commitment to New Zealand art.

He was one of a group of Foreign Affairs staff who from the 1960s understood the importance of culture in NZ’s dealings with other nations and in particular the role the visual arts could play. The result was not only an important collection assembled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs itself, but a lifelong commitment to New Zealand art by many of its senior staff.

He and his wife were also passionate collectors of New Zealand contempory art.

… Then there was his famous charm and self-effacing manner, always backed up with a resolve that was rarely thwarted. Put that together with Sherrah’s unbending determination and it was little wonder they so often managed to snag the very best works from some legendary exhibitions. To be part of the Wellington art scene and never again see Tim standing shoulder to shoulder with Sherrah is going to take some getting used to.

The funeral for Tim Francis is at 2pm on Thursday.