Online tributes are flowing for Whakatāne businessman Wally Sutherland who passed away yesterday aged 91.

Described as a great Rotarian, long-serving businessman, and a man always up for a chat, Wally ran his Whakatāne business for seven decades.

I recall one interview I had with Wally to acknowledge 60 years in business ran for about five hours. I learned more about Whakatāne in those five hours than anywhere else.

Rest in Peace Wally – our town has lost a gentleman one of its favourite sons.