New Zealand/ Aotearoa
Te Papa National Museum of New Zealand New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt since 1 December 1988
212 names
New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt to Be Put On Display
In order to remember all the 140 New Zealanders who lost their lives due to HIV and AIDS related illnesses, a memorial has been constructed. What is more profound is the fact that their heartrending stories would be shared with the visitors when the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt is welcomed to Te Papa in early May. Each and every panel on the Quilt made of 16 blocks and 8 panels would have the story written on it, representing a person who died of AIDS.
According to Stephanie Gibson, Curator History at Te Papa, “The Quilt panels are moving, creative and positive memorials to those who died and testaments to community love and support. All sorts of wonderful textiles and techniques have been used, and these help tell emotional and sometimes colorful stories”. The main motive of the stories written on the panels is to make people aware of the gruesome repercussion of HIV and to remember all those people who died from the disease.
Wellington man Peter Cuthbert was the first person who story was first imprinted on the panel in 1988. Since then there has been tradition going on involving the Quilt and its stories have been shared cross New Zealand as part of the worldwide movement.
Another panel would have the story of Eve van Grafthorst, who got AIDS after she was given blood transfusion of an infected person after being born premature. She had a very difficult life after that and had to suffer the social bashing as she was discriminated and was unable to find a supportive school. Her parents were even forced to flee Australia in order to given her a proper community environment. These are the stories of brave people who did nothing wrong, but had to face discrimination. Photo © Gareth Watkins TopNews

30 April 2012
Dinesh Chandra Gaur, Auckland