Riria Paeumu Waaka(1914-1999) or Lydia Walker was a housewife married to Hapi Cootes and was mother to 6 children (1 died in infancy).
Lydia was born 9th January 1914, to parents Wiremu Kiharoa Walker (or Waaka) and Harata nee Kotua.
Riria, or Lydia as she was also known, was born to Harata and Wiremu Walker (Waaka) on 9th January 1914. At the time of her birth she already had 3 brothers and 2 sisters. These are Hohia (b.1906), Ihaka Tekateka (b. 1908), Ina (b. 1909), Hohaia Pita (b. 1910), and Haromi Rangitiaho (b. 1912). She would also have 4 more brothers born after her birth. These are Rene “Lenard” Joseph (b. 1915), Hori “George” (b. 1916), Maaka “Mark” (b. 1918), and Peter “Tepouwhakarewarewa” (b. 1923).
Her family lived in Okoha and she spent her childhood in Anakoha bay. Her husband and her male children worked for the sawmill that was in the bay at the time.
Lydia died at home on 26th June 1999 at the age of 85. She survived her husband by 38 years. She was the last of her generation to pass away having her last brother Peter pass away 4 years before in 1995. She also outlived a granddaughter, Lauren Tracey, who died in 1995 aged only 25. It is expected that all her adult children were alive when she passed away, Peter died in infancy, and it is believed she had another daughter that was adopted out with the name Marion. At the time of writing this not much is known about Marion.
Lydia was released to her daughter Harata Noeleens house where a service was held on the 29th June 1999. She was then taken to Fairhall Cemetery where she was buried. Her plot details are Cemetery Division:Lawn, Block:1, Row:7, Plot number 56, Plot Key:14281
Most of the sources come from family, Morea Cameron who supplied photos, baptism and death certificate information.