Coromandel writer, artist, musician and loved friend lost in Wyuna Bay tragedy
Written by John Grant on June 8, 2022
By Len Salt
The Coromandel district lost one of its best last week with the sad news that Katarina Brink-Lee had been drowned in a boating accident at Wyuna Bay.
Katarina, or Kat as she was known to family and friends, was very well known in the Coromandel Peninsula and beyond as a writer, an artist a musician, entrepreneur and passionate supporter of animal rights, the environment and climate protection. A published author, the first of her books from the Lost in Time series, ‘Rise of the Boy King’ was originally released in December 2017 under the pseudonym AK Solimov, followed by ‘War of the Gods’.
Her first children’s book, Omri, Te Wheke- a true story picture book, about a purple octopus, was supported by a giant stuffed Octopus that Kat used to entertain children in libraries and schools as part of her travelling book tours.
Kat was a local coast guard member and very experienced sailor. She loved spending time on their trimaran “La Mereda”, and usually divided her time between the boat and Kirehe – the bush clad point of land at the end of Comers Road which has a deep spiritual connection for both Kat and her extended whanau. Her partner Jorma Lee, her son James, James’s grandparents Helen and Paul Lee and all the rest of Kat’s family are musicians. Kat was a talented singer and performer in her own right, taking the stage as lead singer for the iconic Coroblues band on the big stage at Tuia 250 in 2019. Most of her family were on stage with her for that concert, and the family spent a lot of time creating and playing music whenever they could.
Pre-Covid Kat and Jorma ran a very successful business out of Mercury Bay, Kirehe Kayaks, which specialised in tours around the Mercury Bay area and their speciality event – a trip up the estuary and lunch at the Coroglen Tavern.
Katarina’s funeral will take place Friday 10th June at the Mercury Bay Club, Cook Drive, Whitianga, at 12 noon.