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First addition to the AIDS Memorial Quilt in 15 years

The Cartier Trust Quilt will be the first new addition to New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt project in over 15 years, when it is formally presented at a public 30th anniversary event on November 26th.

The trust is best known for funding dignified funerals for those who passed away from AIDS-related illnesses and was disbanded earlier this year - as the virus is just not claiming lives like it used to. Founder Karen Ritchie says, it marks the end of an important journey.

"The Cartier Trust was formed in 2002 named after Courtney Cartier a respected drag queen who died in my arms October 2000.

"Our mission statement was giving dignity to those who passed away from and HIV-related illness and don’t have the finances to cover their final journey and it was a privilege and an honour to be able to assist in that.

"This quilt is a way of honouring those who we’ve helped over the years who didn’t have their own quilts made and is adorned with butterflies to remember Courtney Cartier, as part of the trust’s own final journey."

The 12 panels currently under the guardianship of NZAF will be on display at the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the AIDS Memorial Quilt as part of the 2018 Puāwai Festival. The remaining Quilts are now held by Te Papa.

This event marks 30 years since the first panel, created to memorialise Peter Cuthbert, was presented to New Zealand Quilt Project in 1988.

A panel of speakers who are woven into the history and creation of the quilt, will share their experiences and pay homage to those who have passed on.

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Puāwai Festival and World AIDS Day are timely opportunities to thank those who fought for the rights and visibility of people living with HIV. Many of these people underwent traumatic trial tests and treatments, so those diagnosed today could be connected to life-saving treatments and support.

NZAF Chief Executive Jason Myers says this event is a way to honour the people who have passed away here in New Zealand, since the dawn of the epidemic.

"The AIDS Memorial Quilt is a powerful and beautiful memorial to those we’ve lost and an image of hope for the future.

"Those who are immortalised in the quilt’s panels paved the way for those that followed. Remembering them is an important part of the HIV story in Aotearoa and the heart of this event."

The AIDS Memorial Quilt panels have become a valuable resource for promoting dialogue about HIV/AIDS in New Zealand, ensuring its legacy is one of compassion and education.

The 2018 Puāwai Festival is a week of events and activations in the lead up to World AIDS Day to raise awareness and visibility of HIV in Aotearoa.

The 30th Anniversary Celebration of the AIDS Memorial Quilt is delivered in partnership with Body Positive, New Zealand AIDS Foundation, Positive Women Inc. & the Positive Speakers' Bureau.

Event details:

30th Anniversary Celebration of the AIDS Memorial Quilt

Monday, November 26th, 2018

1 Cascade Street, Freemans Bay, Auckland

6pm - 9pm

Open to the public

Event page for more information: facebook.com/events/2271453479790819/

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