Des Smith and John Jolliff profile

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[00:00:00] This podcast is brought to you by pride in With generous support from the rule foundation. [00:00:06] Not many people can say they were born with a string, but I was although, as my mom said, No, you weren't you were born Incandela because that's where the house was, was. And well, it's straight, there was a private hospital. So quite a few people on my age, who are winning from were born and will will illustrate nothing we can do a Malcolm Watkins one I think most Americans were. And we actually look around the corner from Cameron. So it goes back a bit. We were Incandela. And that was December 28 1939. right at the beginning of the war, the time when most gays were getting shoved into concentration camps. rather daunting to think about that. Anyway, I was born and we grew up Incandela, which then was I think, getting into it, right, a classy suburb, the white middle class attitude, right? You're the youngest of your family. You have been the youngest of four, one sister, two brothers. And that was been a young lead a bit of time. Now. How about you, john? I know quite a bit about that. But yeah, [00:01:22] go back to doing the 1929 10 years on you. And I was born in West London, and grew up in Hammersmith, and shepherds, Bush all around West London. And of course, it was the early 30s. My father was out of work. It was a depression on things were really tough for a while. But the family got through my mother of all she was not a very well, woman. [00:01:56] She had diabetes. [00:01:59] By tomorrow is 10 things. The wall clouds were so deeply over Europe and Mr. Chamberlain come back and saying you're almost right with the world. Unfortunately, war was imminent. And I was one of the group that was evacuated from London. As an only taught I was not terribly happy about this. But there's a photograph of me which I think you've seen kind of a back pack on my back and a brown box with a gas mask in it. And we got onto the train with no idea whatsoever where I was going. And you know the whole school Well, most of school went on so the one or two parents who didn't want to lose touch with their children. So we sort of rode this train, we had no idea where we were going. We ended up not very far away from others Hi, we can which was just about 30 miles. And I was busy with couple who I think he'd been Shang hired into taking a child from London. And they weren't terribly happy and I wasn't terribly happy. And anyway, that went on for a while. But shortly afterwards, I said what was then known as the 11 plus exam. That's right. And that got me a scholarship through to some clever Danes over the state to grammar school. But of course by that time, the school was no longer in Holborn and any sort of pupils were evacuated to be an officer service said two officers a very early age of 11. But I was also sent down from Oxford a very early age at 12. Because I got very very pissed off her there was not a happy in the hospital. I started wetting the bed I was unhappy, read a postcard to my parents to walk home, started swearing at the matron and ended up in front of the headmaster's office day my father arrived to pick me up. So I went back to London early 1941 and was there by my father who was in the fire service for the fires in the Blitzer, London. So it was a checkered childhood and goose was I'm Rashmi was there. And anyway, long story short mom died in 1944. The war finished in 1945. But before that I'd set score set and managed to scrape through I think, because during the French exam, we had a flying bomb, hit the field and explode. So most of my French was done under the desk and [00:04:45] on the desk. [00:04:48] But it was [00:04:52] it was it seemed ordinary to me, but if I will recount it now that I guess it was know that ordinary. [00:04:59] And what is during the war daddy. [00:05:04] We both were affected by the war. And john, of course, being older than me more so many ways being a freshman but New Zealand was not alone. And I think one of the tough things was for my mum, rationing was in place. My father had a job, which didn't take him to war immediately that there was talk of going, he did join the Home Guard and escaping free time, not only to guard the people from invasion, but I think it was to guard the women from I don't know. But anyway, he was a quite a philanderer. And so of course, at the end of the war, when he walked out, I'm leaving for kids, that was a tough going, and you didn't have social [00:05:52] network. [00:05:55] And of course, I do remember those hard times. [00:06:01] During the warning at the end of the more interesting as cells only age of zero going up to five, Amy, I can still vividly remember quite a bit about that era. So it must have left a deep impression [00:06:17] very shortly when the war finished. Actually I was I was in hospital for V day, which was May the eighth 1945. [00:06:28] I'd had some sort of breakdown, I suppose it was a stress thing. [00:06:33] And so shortly after mum died, so so my father wasn't very happy with what was going on in his world at that time. And because I went to work for a while I got a scholarship, which took me to the London county council. I see the scholarships, council jobs as ridiculous. Anyway, I was there for a while. And then of course, I was too scripted. This is what happened to teenagers at that time. At the age of 18. It wasn't a ballot as it was here. You know, if you had a birthday and you're writing you were conscripted unless you were unless you were sick. I got dreams of joining the Navy or doing something like that. I ended up in the Air Force had an aptitude test and was suitable to be a was operated teleprompter operator. So I had something like eight months training and Britain and they will send to Singapore. But I was absolutely bloody useless as a wireless operator telephone drop writer. I still do most you know what's your best professors dad did is it is it. But that's about the extent of my expertise and more. But it does help with my typing because in those days, we were taught to type messages on an imperial tight right here which had capital letters only. And I still have problems ranging from upper to lowercase. Yeah. But anyway, it was a useful base of understanding where the letters were in the QWERTY keyboard. And I actually quite enjoyed the airforce when I got to Singapore. And I have to confess I think substantially it was the mail company. And there were a few incidents, there was no need to explore a sexual cyber boy. So I hadn't had much to do before. [00:08:31] And you [00:08:32] were conscripted. It was compulsory military training until I think when I reached not 57 it would be not same thing this when they changed it to a ballad. And but everyone have a middle home? Joy enjoy. Yeah. Fishing balls. Yeah. But anyway, that was part of vape compulsory medical. But then they balloted as to what birthday your birthday? So if you were had to go on [00:09:09] compulsory? Well on Yeah, [00:09:12] until you were listed [00:09:13] in training. But I didn't have to which both my brother's dead. And ever it's a good thing or not? I don't know, I think to be trained to kill doesn't sound a very nice thing. And I don't know, I just think reinforce the machoism of my brothers [00:09:35] that you would have entered the workforce around about that time. [00:09:40] Yeah, 1957 all nice boys, I was told by my mother went into a bank. So [00:09:49] yeah, into the bank. And then [00:09:53] to me, who had a very creative side, the sort of work involved in a bank was very, very boring for me, I just really did not fit in. So I thought I would go and do be calm like everyone else did. And I had won the university, but I didn't find a science degree I unit and a science, the subject would count towards be calm. So instead of doing accounting, or one of these boring things that I did geology, so yeah. And then I was told that they didn't want academics around the song, bloody thing. And I think I might give us a mess. And so when I went and worked on a nursery for a while, and right. [00:10:42] Yeah, well, [00:10:44] the job I had with the County Council was actually held for me, by the my employers to the whole time I f4. service. So I went back to it for a while was very unsettled, as you can imagine. So the disappearing into the wild blue yonder, the age of 18. So the F was terms was really quite a change of my life. And I began to think I don't really want to do this. So I tried several jobs. And but I did make some very close friends. And one of them actually had the same birthday as I did, which is not surprising because we were all sort of enrolled at the same time, of course you to our birthdays. You know, there were several people who had birthdays the same as mine and one particular member guy called am a very nice guy who worked in the legal firm. But we got very much involved in tramping and hiking and scrambling around the hills of the Lake District in Britain. And I just loved it absolutely wonderful. And we couldn't get up there. We would go locally and the downs around Brighton ourselves. So England, it was it was quite delightful. I became a very ardent youth hostel. And at one stage, we went over to Ireland. And that was fascinating here, no drugs, much goodness in my life, the ladies was so friendly, that we went from basically walked from Belfast down to Waterford, which is quite a long way down the east coast. But we did get a little Lyft one points. South of Dublin. But again, we stayed at youth hostels, and I just found it brilliant. I still enjoy walking so I don't don't manage hills quite as easily as I used to. [00:12:42] You mentioned just before that you had some relationships and the Air Force. Can you tell me when the first time when you kind of found your kind of sexuality basically. [00:12:54] That says difficult because [00:12:58] yeah, I guess even school where was [00:13:04] it says doing to school because lots of teachers have been conscripted. And the geography here in some ways, rather, we had something like eight or nine geography teachers. And several of them were just put on what was then known as the epic dive scope, which is a source of PowerPoint display, where the room was in the dark and these slides went up. So there's all sorts of fumbling going on in the back row. So guys, I got mine bigger than yours. This sort of these I mean, there was a certain amount of [00:13:42] experimentation at school. [00:13:48] But I think it was it was the Air Force really, which first sort of made me think well, this guy's a very nice man. And the fact that he is a man basically particularly attractive. There were one or two we had sort of sexual Congress with appearance with and there was a was terribly easy of you your bags with 35 other people. It was all a little it'll furtive except for the occasional body not very sort of flamboyant and sort of lay on the big Vikings. I thought I clever boys or something and tempting others to kind of there was evidently sort of horseplay and have a rotten. [00:14:37] You built like a horse? No doubt. [00:14:40] I've never seen a horse. [00:14:45] Yeah. [00:14:47] Yeah, there was a, there was some nice people. Oh, there's one. Scott Scott. [00:14:53] When the lights were out, we used to go and [00:14:58] sit. I'd rather sit by his bank or his by mine. And the hands would be under the blanket. Yeah, that was that was interesting. That was that was as far as it went. [00:15:15] I don't know if that answers your question. [00:15:18] Well, my sort of [00:15:22] modesty. But yeah, but sort of a late starter, I think might be the phrase because growing up with two older Metro brothers, and a society that said you should conform and not be different. I think that was a struggle and was expected of me to get married, have kids and do everything that society predict that and I think that stopped me sort of venturing away from what people consider know. And I do remember some incidents and Rotorua when I was working there are going to reward bad as I had male and female, separate and my own naked. I enjoyed the nudity i thought was great. But at that stage also enjoyed the fact that I could have my naked bodies. And I do remember two Americans arrive of all over some teams. And obviously, we're flirtatious in getting aroused and thought, well, this is not right. And so I didn't further that very much having getting filled humble mortar, and I didn't sort of progress until I think I started traveling. And when I started traveling around the world, that was when I was 30. And then I stopped to explore my sexuality [00:16:54] then is interesting. You said this is not right. Because it does reflect what the attitudes we're army What was it? Yes Don't be Is it okay? what I was doing what I was feeling was really not as you say, normal, it was something outside of course, it was illegal. So added another factor to his life really quite difficult. [00:17:25] So mixed with them. What happened is when he built up Cartledge building company, they did like commercial work. And I was working with nursery and wrote for always had a love of plants, and was very keen on plans. But he told me good if I came back to Wilmington, and did a doctor apprenticeship and carpentry, then we could move into doing spec houses, our design gardens and design work and, but I had to help also building and as I did have already under my belt school system, forget, I took three years to get an adult to get a trading certificate, you got a trade suit did go for advanced trade. And that is how that knowledge of why I bought this house myself. But But planting and gardening was thing that I was more keen on. But of course, mixing when they're Meteor, you mix of people who pretty much are and you have to sort through the jokes. And also, I remember one of the guys who was going to partnership with my brother, because there was, as I said, a large firm we get about 14 guys working for you one of the things as he did relate how they went to San Francisco groups of them, he was with the volunteer Naval Reserve or something and how they would bait guys on the toilets. I mean, they got the clock out. And it got hard in that taking that and beat them up the light from things. And anyway, that sort of didn't help. But once I had my exams, and I was really, I always wanted to travel. So it wasn't until I was 30. And then I took off and travel five years. And first of all living two years on New Caledonia. And where I've learned French and I did find the game as we were constructing homes that have been pre cut in New Zealand, that you're mixing in that circle of Metro bulldozer drivers, plumbers, etc. From New Zealand, Australia, and that's people who mixed word. But I didn't know going to Europe, but learning French would help a lot with travel. And I enjoyed up. So that's when I really got started learning French and now don't know What I don't know is but some I do tours at the end and French [00:20:02] border just struck me I'd never realized it before is both you and I sort of left home we've stepped out of the environment in which we grown up. [00:20:19] And we both thought we needed to do this to be ourselves. [00:20:21] But one thing by learning French because it got to the stage where I had to translate for these TVs in English. And we actually ran this working man's camp where we stayed in bed at nine anyone to pick the language so I they always kept calling me for translations like someone who doesn't afraid to walk and and everyone spoke English and they get these get these you know and and this gave me some sort of esteem because one guy said always thought you're a little bit object or a little bit feminine or something and but he said now you're really good guy, you know secure quite a seat first round. Yeah. But [00:21:08] anyway, anyway, Jordan, my self we both now Shiva passion of the French language, [00:21:18] which is wonderful French [00:21:19] culture really [00:21:23] leaving Britain for New Zealand was in some ways an accident. As I said earlier that I was unsettled, I've had two or three jobs. I think I'll probably got out of one job before I was sacked. I worked for Genesis when we're and somehow I didn't Joe, and [00:21:45] he's have lunch with a friend. [00:21:48] Every so often. And we walked past what was then the New Zealand High Commission in Leicester Square. And they had during the criteria hotel, I had this small window at the top immigration scheme. We want bridge builders, carpenters or this whole thing. So we didn't have great devices that we use. Then one day we said, it says office workers and we looked at each other. We went in, we came up with pictures of sheep and sunshine. And here I am. It wasn't the shape of my head. But it was a gamble. And you had to go through medicals and examinations and tests and checks and all that sort of thing. And we had to leave not from London, but we got onto the ship at Glasgow. And as the boat pulled away from the wharf I saw the water defame in the end of the shares. Okay, did you see them? Then it took me 40 years to go back. Because I felt absolutely wonderful here in so many ways. We were very friendly. ship was a bit crowded, and most people were from Glasgow. So as a few language difficulties occasionally. But it was it was the right thing to do the job was fine. And people will find the accommodation out at Trenton cam was fine for a while to have found it. Somewhere else live. Yeah, it was good. never regretted it. [00:23:17] Well, we both got many tales to tell. [00:23:21] Because I could go on for quite a while about some of the things that happen. traveling around Europe and living in Europe, North Africa and North America. But [00:23:34] do we do is go back to sort of how we met would this be? [00:23:39] Yeah, I think it's good, because I can still remember seeing john sitting on the couch. When we went to lunch. Yeah, it was quite a few years back. I can still remember and thinking Oh, I like that one is busy talking to someone who fancy themselves more. [00:24:02] It was it was Johnny [00:24:06] took my attention. It was it was [00:24:07] quite into I was talking to someone else. And suddenly I was aware of this electricity and my left hand side. And I'd seen this man before because like many people are on the steps of Parliament when the infamous petition against law reform was presented. And there's at that time was a kaftan bobbing up down in his calf 10 soliciting money for a versus want to press for the Lord goes through the same age of consent, which I suppose it. So I gave him money, and almost been with him ever since I bought him music. [00:24:55] But we didn't know each other at that time. [00:25:00] I did see him again very briefly one night at the Victoria club. That he was very busy. I was obviously very aware of this man then suddenly appears that this household name would say then director of a female was having up in October. And we are chatting and I was living at the time in Rome 30. And there's was here he said well, would you come home by Roma neither No. man's man there you live there. Wrong side of the triangle. Anyway, he had the I said the things he headed off to his corner. So Tony of a Sufi his. But God His address was he took off following the finger. And we made instant contacts as it were. And then very shortly we had a [00:26:01] you go out again. [00:26:04] And we went to the School of Dance and your graduation performance at the Opera House. And they will. And we've been going through those graduation forces literally ever since. [00:26:16] And in that time, but of course first few years, john having his heart and muscle fame mine. [00:26:25] But getting together regularly or pretty regularly. And if we didn't get together, it was phones and then was sort of like those bloody catch you. [00:26:38] He's in fading. [00:26:41] doses did the big ol Emma was actually down at Henry University. And I think roof was in Britain. Definitely three cats and 500 pop lines. [00:26:52] Not many popular that survived. It's one [00:26:57] survived. And the neighbors were very good about [00:27:00] sometimes don't leave. Don't feed those cats like the two tags down here. [00:27:10] We've hardly been a pass at all. I don't think other than myself. Will john been involved in theatre? Because you had the rehearsals? [00:27:20] Yeah, but that's not going away. And then days at a [00:27:23] time and of course, doing tours on it takes me away for quite a few hours, [00:27:28] most of the time spent together. And that's how I like it. [00:27:33] What year did you meet? [00:27:37] I think it must be 1987. [00:27:39] It was 19. September 1987 26. Yeah. [00:27:44] Before we talk about your relationship, can you tell me a wee bit about what New Zealand was like? So from the 1960s through to the 80s. In terms of kind of homosexuality? [00:27:56] It was [00:28:00] you're left with a sense of apprehension, I would think I mean, I didn't explore my that side of me. In fact, I thought it was probably a passive thing to some extent. And I met this wonderful woman, I used to go to recorded music evenings every so often one would sort of go someone's house and you set up a program with this, it might be involved, or it might be a mix, program and chat and have a bit like the friendship needs that we have now only with music. And I met Adrian and we got on very well. And they decided to get married. And we did. She was from Ireland, and she lost her lung just before we would use get married. And she was Catholic and I wasn't. Anyway, it worked very well. And then had two children, which was a little bit of a surprise because we'll move on lung is not going to find it terribly easy to have the kids go to the very good but so myself. It took a little while of course because I imagined that I'd have been very, very attached to Adrian and another woman would raise problems as well. A man but she had cancer. We had a difficult few years together at the end and she wanted to marry Porter hospice on our 20th wedding anniversary. And after that I had two girls on my own for seven years. So I should do something for the hospital because they were bloody wonderful. And they were they still support what they do very much. I tried it couldn't cope emotionally was far too close. [00:29:57] So what else do I do? [00:30:01] HIV was very, so very much in the news. Oh, I could do something with it. But long ago except as a volunteer. And of course it was not entirely altruistic motive. I'm sure there's a new meet came in. And I did lost a lot of them to unfortunately. But this was that time also a volunteer [00:30:32] and past costs and bigger [00:30:35] at the you think about 1960s what I would like to end with that is that was my early 20s up to your late 20s that's in the 1960s but a lot of positive jokes, and a lot of really good about you know, guys who would do is go with another guy. But it all was a staff I think of move as a building because that was the era of common and common Yeah, not with us anymore. But carbon did something to the psyche to have Willington It was her flamboyance and the whole drag queen that was thrust in the face of the population of Wilmington and and there's no doubt about it. Carmen and LaBelle calm, which was the nightclub in the coffee bar and Commons, the cafe shared and Vivian straight all that was a wonderful thing. And I remember going to be at john Street, they had the winter show a corner and you'd be there and Carmen would arrive with an entourage. And I was just fascinated. And also announcer Peter Sinclair, who was well known for being flamboyant and visible and Peter Sinclair was not a drag queen, but very flamboyant game in and all these was sitting in motion, a change in thinking and that Robin doll, white middle class sort of Willington that was the bar the coffee bar which had the six o'clock closing of the pubs and was six o'clock throw out a lot of the modern girls we serve a coffee Batman at face that and the coffee bar scene was quite something especially when you had something like Commons it was Commons copy about in LaBelle Khan was upstairs when we have a library as now. And I remember going up there because staying parties are often held at the Val con, or you go the for your Christmas do you'd have a work was over builders. And when you go to Lavelle, calm, and of course there's always going on about these guys want to set your car and all this sort of talk. But there was all sort of a change happening. [00:33:16] I think you're right. There's a lot of people that I knew who would say, let's go have coffee at Commons place. You know, this was your white middle class society, enjoying the difference and reveling in. And by being there to support him that difference. And the end the code, the code she had [00:33:38] the Cody john heard of the code, the way you place your cup is what sort of six you wanted. [00:33:46] The cup was upside down. Oh, [00:33:49] yeah, there was quite [00:33:51] a bit bit was Carmen Peterson clear, was just trying to think of anyone else who sort of stood out at that time in the 60s. But things change 70s most of my 70s was spent out of New Zealand, coming back here till the latter part of the 70s was concentrating on building my house. So the 70s wasn't sort of, to me. Well, I've season was, as I said, lots of titles. [00:34:26] Again, getting back to [00:34:29] that time, I could never ever have come out at work [00:34:35] my way through to moderate receiving positions in the the public service. But I was aware of one or two people who had come out who had made it quite clear that they were dying. And they got no promotion whatsoever. And there was a distinct discrimination against gay guys. So you know, for sheer livelihood purposes, Hello, welcome to say, Okay, now I have to do what does not have done today will be visible. Is it saying that being visible is still crucial? And was a friend was who said the TV's visibility and vigilant? I think we need both of them. Yeah. [00:35:19] Ds Can you talk to me just a wee bit about some of your overseas experiences and how they changed you coming back to New Zealand? [00:35:28] Sure, well, first of all, I'm flirting with an Australian who was a six maniac, heterosexual [00:35:36] disappointment. [00:35:38] His attitude was sick. So you know if he could screw anything, he didn't care what it was. But he used the POC, because I was vain. He was a a sheet metal work. He's ducting for the some of the big buildings they were doing for a conditioning. So I had this very large vein and use go down to the military fridge military. guy. Oh, really? Right. Well, was we ever all the military, a lot of guys from Tahiti used to come in. And this was him doing the military service, which is composite was presumed dollars, and was compulsory. So you had a lot of young military men, and you Mia, and I remember ladies coming and said, all we said, you know, proper cab, Patrick hard, and they usually have to wait very long. And a guy was sort of walk around your veins several times. And you say you open up a door and he jumps on such your [00:36:43] God, he has all these women and then some guys success. And I thought, Oh, you know, maybe that's what I'm like. And I thought, Oh, that's all right. Yeah. So walk. And I thought I'd give it a go sort of thing. Yeah. And [00:36:58] where you circling the van. [00:37:03] But anyway, that sort of started changing my attitude, you know if he can do that, but I didn't want to label myself. I thought, Oh, no, I'm just a liberated person. I'm not gay. I'm not. I'm not homosexual. You think I'm a liberated person. And unlike the latest thing, that I still remember him sort of running around the flesh on the morning with a hat on say, I wish you were a homosexual, I'd stick this in your mouth. That was the start. But we're not really over to Europe, from Russia, man. And travel, then they not found out that rather enjoy to have a nude beaches there. And some of them all say the areas where we were just mean I thought I'd see them beta. And so I drifted down to Israel or down to the Red Sea to diving found that over St. Jude's at night, it was rather great. And getting filled out by going through the this is all rather fun. And then going to meet the most famous pictures of Mickey Mouse, the paradise super paradise and Atlanta number three beaches, were nude beaches, one straight from one of the guys. And the other one is [00:38:17] people who've got incredible wealth. And so exploring those three [00:38:23] guys don't have [00:38:27] the word guys on the album. But anyway, that whole sort of change. And I remember when I went back to London, I thought, Oh, you know, how can you explore gay bars or something like that. So it all started changing. But coming back to New Zealand. In the late 70s, all of a sudden, I felt this sort of restriction of New Zealand. And then again, I got very busy building the house and sort of got involved with settling down I thought, well, maybe I could settle down. American woman I met while I was traveling through the state's decide should come over I just suggested or maybe she like to come and see New Zealand. But she came with the hearts of the idea of marriage. And when she saw the house emphasized. [00:39:17] She decided this is where she's going to live advertising causing more. [00:39:23] Anyway, that was quite a complicated issue. Because here I had a family say get married, get married, or you can't just live with it. And no, I don't want to get married. I don't want to get married. Get married to that. One me write that all letter will finish. And then of course along came I was sexual reform when I totally came out and got very involved in having sexual reform. [00:39:49] So tell me about homosexual reform. What what what did you do with that? [00:39:53] I did very little. I was very aware of it. But I had two daughters on my own at that time. And I guess I suppose replication lessons pipe rule gave that of Kashmir the active very, very lightly. I just wasn't deeply involved. And suddenly, nothing was deep these days. Yeah, it was just sort of practical thing for me [00:40:20] wasn't when the bill first came out. But I think it was I was busy actually landscaping, I built the house. And I was just doing some landscaping outside and I was building a stream of fate in the bottom line area Bell gun. And I listened to talkback. And I just couldn't believe what By that time, I'd made some gay friends and stupid console, consider myself gay, but more as bisexual. And I sort of heard what people were saying on talkback. And I just couldn't believe that. Not generally. But I listened to bank but I had been doing a small job for moment and chart world. And she said to me, another moment I got when I passed and she said, Have you heard the talk back of the national radio? I said no, it's I've listened to the talk back and listen to it here. And it was just incredible. Because what we found out afterwards, the fundamentalist Christians, six of America had sort of advise people how to stop this bill going through and that was one of the things get on talkback. Make sure you get on there. And of course, [00:41:38] immediately, I wanted to [00:41:41] give another viewpoint. So this woman who this woman who I was doing some work for said, Look, come in and use the phone anytime and give them on talkback because she had a relation news guy. She said she got me some more material. And I read quite a bit. Another friend gave me a book. So I was becoming more articulate. And so I got to know poor homes as producer Mary aim. And, and also home. Of course, what happened when I rang up, the phone lines would get jammed with all the aunties. So she said to me, we will find you at 1130 and then you say something, and then what we'll we've only got room for two more calls and ends and told us midday when they finished for talkback. So they rang me at 1130 I used to put on a good plug. And then so Paul Holmes was it was very good because I remember when I have a sexual or for my three we actually also gave him a bouquet of flowers. But what happened was that they created a group called hug heterosexuals I'm afraid of gays and Auckland. And that came on the TV and then it came on the on the radio and the news and morning I remember morning Walker who was working for still friends over there. came out to me I was working outside she said we've got to get this group going. She said ever heard about my CDs. She She says oh come on and move. See what we can do. I said, Okay, so I rang up, Paul Holmes did the usual thing. And I said anyone interested in forming a group and winning terminal hug? Well, let's sing exploded. And just, I gave my phone number, my private phone number. And, and because at that stage, I didn't care. Damn. You know, I was on a roll, I think anyway, I gave up her phone, private phone number. That phone did not stop ringing. And it was all positive. There was one guy who rang up he was I think, Pacific Islander. And he's after talking to me about Yeah, why are you supporting people who stick things in each other and never spoke to him? I mean, I found out I think he's gay. And I spoke to him and I actually turned him right Brown. And I thought I was good. Anyway, we had the first meeting in the old library, a small room that was underneath we hired and we got donations we got the committee and this house downstairs was like a big office. We got a typewriter and we got a desk a woman office to be the secretary we printed stuff I saw Mick friend while we went up to Parliament and [00:44:40] made the big trouble [00:44:42] printed untold stuff on their on their printing copies because the guy said Mr. The expensive wave and I said are you That's all right. And I used to go the and I used to stay the until the machines are ran out of ink ran out of paper just broke down. In some ways. When we have got he joined up with gay Task Force, and then from gatehouse forces. We had different strategies and also put posters up right through winning time, there were more posters and willing to and I think than any other place from New Zealand but there was a young woman of 16 rang me up and asked if she could help she was still at college. And she's now well known author is that Emily, Emily Perkins and Emily rang me up and to help us all come out with me after school will put posters up which we did. We lifted the place of posters because we had enough funds coming in we printed off hundreds at a time and was there a few Jewish people organized with hug and they went overboard with these posters we are more than what we need to do with and that I remember I put captions on but I printed off the machines that Parliament's that written cost us too much. And there was a guy one of these I think he was been saying though one of these sort of so called Christians going around with a paint scraper scraping them off. So steep dreamily look every time he does that will go and put up sex and more we scrape it off which we did. Then I put a letter in the back of the van and shoot hold the later and pops up but glue so put more love Hi. [00:46:28] Have a frustrated Christian. Anyway, we did all that sort of thing and [00:46:34] love of media. Does the gay be see they bring up mass me if I do, we're poor to the beach to me, got me doing a regular program. I mean, john joined in on that. But the other thing is, and before the bill was passed, our first meeting of gay Task Force was to a fear we thought about and for full moon, it was the first gay lesbian fair. So I got involved with that. And we went round to try and work out we would hold it Newtown school, seemed like neutral territory and also was a reasonable cost with something like townhome was exorbitant couldn't afford that, and continue with that fear of next year. But to help me with there were two interests of surrenders on my own for next year and completely funded. We had to pay everything in advance. And I found out that my own money because I wasn't earning much running around because I gave up work totally. But what I did, I rented out two rooms of the house, which gave me an income and fortunate didn't have a big mortgage. But it was like two years no income, other than reading out rooms and sort of doing a few odd jobs here in the did a few garden jobs just to keep some money coming in. But virtually divided myself totally gave him this build through. And also next time was to ensure that the second fear was a success. And it was and I made a profit. Not I did not pay myself back. I had some money in the bank to keep making sure that fear was okay. [00:48:19] What you was at first, [00:48:21] it was 1986, January, March 1986. Because the bill was passed ninth of July 1986. After that. So the first fear was, yeah, it was in the second week of March, I think was the time we selected. And it was just held in the whole it was in the next one was the third one. We expanded on the grounds and then it grew from there. I mean, john meeting up john was great because he also helped with the fair, he was entertainment manager. And routines fear was quite a blast. [00:48:59] It we're doing this the Fargo one [00:49:02] that was enough money from that fund that I created to on the 10th anniversary of homosexual law reform. We had 14 have been disabled. And caught all of them had to be funded. And then was some money that [00:49:21] like ends at the time. And we developed this exhibition called two years of fury. And we use the law school and the old government. And it was wonderful, absolutely fabulous. It was the center guy. Bill Hastings was deputy head of law school. And he facilitated things for So we call this exhibition together and it ran for a fortnight and the various other events went on dinners and the tour lovely bus. [00:49:55] Some funny things still remember that who hear you young [00:50:01] Laurie decided to have a bus stop places and Willington on the bus. And they were standing up commentating and we were all sitting down looking out. And the bus stop and Allison Lori said there was a lesbian club here before and everyone looked at the bus and it was the Jordan new fact because tongue grew the bus laughter because Allison the here standing there What the hell are these people? Like funny with that? So that was that was? That was good. Yeah, that was one of the events we had plus some dinner. It [00:50:39] was more because Dallas, but yeah. [00:50:43] Yeah. trying to think of the show room. And then we had [00:50:48] a big party at [00:50:51] the [00:50:53] green room what they call them parliament, the the Grand Hall. [00:51:00] Straight ahead of you. [00:51:01] Yeah. And we had a big party there. But they were not there to sell liquor. We had to provide, which we did. Yeah. And yeah, so I remember some people getting Rob, but high on that. And we had entertainment. The day was very good. And Sue done law. And unfortunately, Sue died. But our members soon done lot. Whenever I wanted the containment. She would always be so obliging and so good. And yet some gay guys I know, wanted to know how much money I was going to pay them. And yeah, we were still playing one of the man dollars game was cash. And I'm staying the busy counting, making sure it was all them. I thought, No, you don't do. [00:51:53] Why do you think something like Hulk was so successful? [00:51:58] Because gave it homosexual or form was clinical, no, not homosexual, from cyber homosexual or form society, I think they call themselves robot. And that was a bunch of academics from university. Not necessarily gay people, but they were academics. And it did sort of have a clinical film. Major was for gay lesbians hug with this bright, bright pink badge. And it's catchy name, gave a chance for people to be involved who were not out, were friends of guys or family. And it was all of a sudden people feeling frustrated that they couldn't do anything with what was happening in New Zealand. And when you think about the opposition had so much money, and one of us was American money, then opposite opposition came a full page ads against the bill and every paper in New Zealand. Now, the presentation, I will stick the palm at all We were but it had all the hallmarks of Nazi Germany. And these people were so militant, and so bigoted that the people and basically the New Zealanders are just even those ones who might make pasta jokes or said snide things about homosexuals, all of a sudden realized that, you know, there are people who are gay, and he was a chance that they could do something. And I think that's why it was an incredibly quick growing group. But it was those remarks. Like different frames is those brothers always seem to be at gay. They made comments like oh, everyone who joins hackers just a closet homosexual top attitude, but that wasn't sorry. I mean, I met some wonderful people through that people like surely Smith, who was a lawyer, and also she was the wife of such she gave generously to hog every time she saw me she'd give me $50 sort of thing, then should apologize that chain give me money recently, I would give 100 I mean, people like her people like Lloyd Gehring, who I admire so much even now. I mean, that guy's still putting out I mean, it wasn't as 90s he still putting out some wonderful lectures on life. People like him. People, like the vino White House. And I mean, you meet these wonderful people. And these people are an inspiration. And they have a comprehension of what this world is about. Until I [00:55:03] think you might be thinking of the sport that came through for the Soviet Union boat who really came from everywhere did live. Wonderful. [00:55:12] Yeah. Because Because no New Zealand does. If you get to criticize New Zealanders, or I don't know fed, which was a criticism, you could say there. That's how I feel they are reserved, but they're not conservative. Conservative means that no change reserved means you're going to take a while and that's not a bad thing. And I think we can say that we are we are reserved, we don't have sort of, although sometimes I don't know. But I'd rather live when South Americans do come to live here. One of the criticisms is that we don't have that sort of rah rah around flamboyance and, and yeah, and sometimes when you've seen people on the street, and just black and gray, and that's the color and without a flare, not like the wonderful salaries of India or over the color. But that reserved is not a bay that [00:56:14] we have changed considerably over the years arrived here in 1956. When I was astonished, you never really saw people saying goodbye in an affectionate way at the railway station, where is it Waterloo or somewhere in Victoria, say in the case of cry, whatever. Now you see it. And I think that's what people do express affection, or wait for the day when we walk down the street hand in hand cut through that somebody figured I look forward to that is bound to come but it will take a while. [00:56:46] But the I think this is the I like French society, we have found them free living in French society, we are found that the French were not so judgmental. They meet you. They just made few inquiries about the sort of person you are that I've liked you or they didn't like you as to who you were, rather than that putting you into a box like your job and the way you lock your sexuality. There was far more IE this guy's got an interest that I follow along. He's funny. And I somehow fitted very company into French society. Also, I'd rather like the way kiss on both cheeks, male and female. [00:57:29] He also likes the case of patisserie. The first time we went first ago, we put over eight kilos. But that's another story. [00:57:38] Getting back to when you guys first meet, can you just tell me? What attracted you to each other? [00:57:49] Yeah, is the vitality. I mean, I remember days from the is active activity on the steps of Parliament during the presentation of that petitioner. semantics got a spark? And that spark is continued. It's still there. And obviously physically attractive to me too. and warm. Open. What else is just bingo? Yeah, it was it was, as I said, in my submission, and civil union bill. Way, way back. It was love at first sight. [00:58:25] Yeah. Now I remember your smile. And I still look at you now and say, Are you so cute? [00:58:36] Anyway, it says it's stay there, which is wonderful. [00:58:42] Can you describe each other? [00:58:46] How do you describe another person? [00:58:48] Yeah. Like I john, always feel as has a very good intelligence. [00:58:56] And he can laugh. And he can smile, get a button should be living. [00:59:06] But we can do things together. And I think this is the joy that we're both sort of drift into each other's interests and sort of absorb them. And we do things together and [00:59:18] they've overlapped to my interest have expanded because of this. [00:59:24] And also, when we go out, we engage with people and engage with those the people we're both engaged with, but we both like [00:59:36] we did the Myers Briggs test way back. This is to pull a Brit Kelly put us on to this and she basically and they were interesting parallels does is as probably too much more of an extrovert than I am. But we're both they're both the same into the scale. The same range of interests as a range of [00:59:58] its quality is the right word. Okay. [01:00:01] Young, so basically, [01:00:05] defined and [01:00:10] aspects of days, which quite fascinating. I mean, his enthusiasm, so many, his ability to retain information about plants and things it says it really gets me I can't remember sort of Latin names of things again. But [01:00:32] it looks like words, like playing with words. [01:00:36] Latrobe Palestina. So Peter Peter, [01:00:38] which of course you here, if you go to the vagabond in Paris, [01:00:42] that was sent to me in Paris, a guy heard we were from New Zealand. And he came up to us, he didn't speak English. And he said to me row palace, the list so Peter and I are back to permeate the New Zealand, a palm tree from New Zealand Nico, he was a partner expert, any new New Zealand only bites palm. And that was botanical name, but [01:01:06] we wouldn't know what [01:01:09] he was. I was quite staggered that he came up and saved that. But he was staggered, because I believe replied as to [01:01:17] it's an unusual approach. [01:01:22] But he gave me his email because he'd never been to New Zealand. I said, Well, maybe you should come and have a look at robot Steelers. So be that, which is the Nico palm. And it was one of those races you put in your pocket, and then you clean your pocket out and that disappears. So yeah, get never followed. But yeah, that would have been rather fun. Have I caught a contact on the game, [01:01:45] but we had a number of links through for what we tend to call the pink mafia, mafia rose. Because we met some French people here. And then we met them again in in France, and had dinner with some of their friends. And then their friends came here, and it was snowboard. And we had a couple of guys here from neem last week, who we met before they run a boarding house or a b&b in name in France. And one of them is George joyful people that were so interested and interesting. And we have wonderful dinners sitting here. And it was like being in some ways because the dinners went from the gin and tonic on the veranda to so coffee hapa Stella night. Yeah, practicing your French is very good. [01:02:45] Where do we go? [01:02:47] Well, some UTM not supposed to go too. Well, before we get to the civil union. [01:02:54] Hello, you know, [01:02:56] maybe this leads into the civil union. I'm wondering, can you describe how your relationship changes over time? How has it changed from when you first went out together? [01:03:06] It's changed as much as I think this is probably learn to tolerate my thoughts over the years. And let it be reciprocal. I guess not that there are many course. But [01:03:24] I think [01:03:26] in relationships, I mean, [01:03:29] passion changes, it doesn't disappear. [01:03:34] But I guess my fervent lust is there quite as frequently. But we should have fun on all on all levels. In part. One, one of the joys of ice is that we have a lot of fun, you know, people say how, how long have you been together, which has the business which is fun. It's great fun. [01:04:01] Yeah, this is though we never allowed anyone else stepping into our relationship. It was very good for a moment. But after that, we ventured out a little bit to enjoy the company of someone else. And I think this is the way relationships sometimes involve and longest, neither of us are missing out on fun. And I think that's the main thing that we still look after each other for is somebody else involved in our relationship. And I think that's how that has changed in that 2026 26 years of a relationship together. [01:04:47] But that must also mean things like trust, and honesty and [01:04:55] either way of anything with john Turner. [01:05:00] got that from my daughter. [01:05:04] She said be careful lies Hawkeyes watcher. [01:05:11] Yeah. Trust trust is essential is basically to any long term relationship over to [01:05:17] be honest with each other. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's important. And [01:05:25] Verizon concern you only get one shot at this lie. And mostly Yeah. But I do feel also bit to contribute. So when you leave, there's a bit of place. To me, that's important. And while you're doing that, have fun. Don't sort of dwell on things. You can't regret anything. And you can't change what's happened. And important to be you who you are very important. [01:06:00] I think that's advice. I [01:06:01] certainly agree with the regrets. There's no future point, you're regretting things. So typically feel sorry, but you can't sort of hanker after something which didn't happen or something you should have done. It's a question of moving on. Now. We all make mistakes, remember who learned [01:06:20] and made a mistake. [01:06:24] And I'd like to think more people Christian authority. Half our battles do go and people just accepting what some, Natasha tells them. They should Christians Christian, instead of it and blind faith. [01:06:41] And [01:06:43] if something's on the family, we may have strong beliefs. Question. Don't just accept that. What you've been told, I can tell you how to live but don't mean to say I've got the answer at all. [01:06:58] 30 You should tell anybody how to live. [01:07:01] Yeah, but a lot of people liked it. [01:07:06] But if you can see it by example, and like john and myself, [01:07:09] I do call the water. [01:07:12] But by being visible by appearing in the DOM post by appearing and express doesn't mean I don't feel anyone special. But I do feel by doing that we are helping society by saying all those two guys happy together. Why can't I be side top things so by being visible and Sydney example like nowadays, been involved with restoration work of native trees. I'm far more committed to planting native plants now have an exotic sweet as way back house more. Wanting to have that balance of I always liked native plants. But now we're doing some restoration with grandma railway station, one of the people who helped me want to put more on soft x and I say, No, we'll do a good job of NATO's in, someone's got to come and say I like that. If we put exotics. And they say, Well, I like that that's okay. But if we can do a good job of just natives, in people are going to follow that. And to me, it's important that we preserve what we've got. And this is important in the gay community that we have visible. And people see us and say, we like that we like those two guys, and I think was Tony Simpson did say during the civil union bill, he was out of the dinner. And we'd appeared and a paper versus a gay people. It was just a whole mixture of people. And one guys, or do you see those two guys in the paper? They're our age sort of thing. And it really was quite stopping you know, of any wanted to get some recognition on their relationship. So this visibility and Sydney example to me is important. [01:08:58] on that particular issue. [01:09:02] A suburban settled, racially stable couple, a non threatening to anybody, which is possibly why we might surprise we ended up in this rollercoaster ride, headaches, first of all started up the Soviet Union bill support society. Peter Peter done. He was saying he said the pink thing on the part of the Labour Party and nobody wanted it and the bill hadn't even been published. And we got really uptight that Peter done. And he had the temerity during the course of the campaign to say to me, it's nothing personal. JOHN. Peter couldn't be more personal if you tried your opposition. Yeah. You tried to stop me having something which you take for granted. Yeah. [01:09:50] Anyway, Talk Talk to me now about the civil union bill and also getting civil union. [01:09:57] Okay, that was that was a wonderful experience, really. [01:10:03] I don't know if we were set up on this [01:10:07] mission, but [01:10:09] it was on the first day. But what happened was, we got the bill. And between ourselves really gets piece of done. We publicize the civil union bill support society, we got lots and lots of support. It was wonderful. Unfortunately, we weren't required rely on tight races and things like the law reform days, it was all computerized and we could email. And anyway, we made our submissions we want to give. And somebody was surprised. We found we were caught up on the first day. And of course, the press were there in droves. So [01:10:49] I got very emotional effect. I cried. [01:10:54] It's, yeah, it was it was very tense. Things are being so personal. So out for me at that particular moment. But afterwards, Nick Ventnor. It was a different time, wasn't it? I'm sorry, getting confusing, but Nick bit knows the dominion. What is a couple to talk about the bill 30 a couple public. So it is totally naked, somebody saw a picture on the steps of Parliament. And then it was a roller coaster thereafter, we seem to become what they called us the poster boys, but it was out doing. We just move that we'd go along the streets and people will come at a risk of say good on you. [01:11:41] Yeah, it was. [01:11:45] It was moving. [01:11:47] Interesting, though. [01:11:50] The thing that I think it motivated us was really repeated, done try to get one part through but not the other parts through was, if you live as a married couple, then you only receive benefits as a married couple. So in other words, you had no rights, but you had over responsibilities. And that's why that's why we, instead of like quite a few people criticize that said, Well, why don't you just go for marriage and forget civil union, but it was important civil union bill did go through, because it was obviously that we were going to have rights, no rights, but would have responsibilities. And by No, right by having not having that right, wills can be challenged, no matter who you are. And if you do have a bit of paper to say you have a legal relationship, then that does [01:12:47] where the challenge is likely to be successful. And it was a pragmatic decision to me, I think we were both really wanted merge in the first place. [01:12:58] we devise a way of doing something partners, because not only was Michael doing homosexual or form to me, it was 16 or nothing. You were equal of interesting children's. And I remember saying that other kids, that bill goes does go doesn't go through. It has to be 16 or nothing. I mean, I thought do I say it's got to be marriage or nothing. But when realizing that we were going to end we will not win, we're not getting younger. And better. It was a good idea that we did have a chance people of us and that people of our age, to have the relationship legally recognized. And this is a game but the marriage bill, we change to the Marriage Act. As a game, I think a very, very important piece of legislation. [01:13:47] I think it was a good thing. When human rights stresses you I don't think we would have got merged for eight years ago. I really don't. [01:13:57] We gained a hell of a lot better getting you some weird. And it was never a numbers game. It was just an option. I mean, nobody's forcing anybody to get married or to have a civil union. Certainly no one's forcing any religious minister to officiated any such event. But it's it's an option that everybody should have when they take you up as another matter. [01:14:25] And I'm all for marriage equality. [01:14:28] Going back to the mid 2000s, when civil unions were going through the bill, and we hit things like the destiny church, March and welcome. It was so helpful. Yeah. Tell me about what was your response to something like that big destiny church much? [01:14:45] Frankly, I thought it was wonderful because I picking up 17 days earlier, he was really don't like that sort of thing. And I think whoever put them in black, whoever. Enough is enough of us. [01:15:00] Matsu town. He said. [01:15:04] This is, but on the other hand, there's also the possibility that most of us don't give us stuff one way or the other. But what guys have is want on a lead. It's not an issue because it doesn't affect them in the day to day basis. [01:15:20] But I think it did [01:15:25] crystallize some people's opinion that okay, we don't would see destiny judge, so to winning this battle, and they will come out and support [01:15:36] Well, just reinforces my bigotry about religion on the home. [01:15:42] And now here it is. Well, [01:15:45] I just was horrified. You know, here we are 21st century New Zealand. Other countries, unfortunately, still got a long way to go. But New Zealand? No, we do not need this. We do not need these religious fanatics. [01:16:03] You certainly don't need marches that coerce children as young as eight. Apparently expressing their opinion by wearing the T shirt enough is enough, because they don't understand what they are marching for. I think there's child abuse. [01:16:20] I saw a woman at a civil union rally, we had all these balloons with orange, orange and white with the colors. And we had these orange and white balloons with civil union printed on them. And this woman came up she was smartly dressed with two children. And she told her to instruct for children how to pop these balloons. And remember standing up in because fortunately, we did have a megaphone, which is very noisy [01:16:51] is very [01:16:53] good. standing up and saying there look at this woman. Look what she's doing to those children. [01:17:01] That's so wrong. So anyway, [01:17:05] scurried off and then one of these so called Christians came over [01:17:11] the megaphone to say a prayer. [01:17:15] Get rail. [01:17:19] was a day it was out day it was the day I think the bill was passed. That was a Thursday night. Reading was Thursday. I remember we we was done. Sunday, it reorganized the ourselves down at Parliament on we had a little stage and a sound system played music had a mega fire was great. [01:17:41] That wonderful disabled woman who model woman who's [01:17:46] vocal about the aunties, she had a [01:17:50] brother who was gay, [01:17:51] gay son, she had issues disabled, but she came up in a wheelchair she wants to make the phone. boy did she late. Christians don't know how. [01:18:07] But unfortunately, these people sometimes look on themselves as martyrs. I tried to work out, I tried to reason try to think why do people need religion? It's all about hope. It's about fellowship. This is what they want. But just other things we can do for fellowship, and hope is surely [01:18:30] hoping to make it a better world for other people. But most religions don't know, I [01:18:42] need this belief that my God [01:18:45] might be talking to [01:18:48] religious gentlemen. Oh, my confession. [01:18:55] I can't understand as to why they want to think there was a gold anywhere and who's to say there's a God, you know? 1234 it has a whole lot. We don't know. But there's a lot we do know. [01:19:12] What was that feeling like when civil unions passed? [01:19:15] Oh, it was wonderful. Oh, great. I was in the house. It was I was in the public gallery. And we thought we had the numbers and there was toes touch and go. But yeah, it was a video of Wow, that's magic. And there was lots of hugging and people crying. And it was just I think it was a sense of achievement to achieve because I thought I'd actually been part of helping to get it for helping people to understand what it was all about. So yeah, that I've ruined that because rose and went to the s&m bar whatever it was a Royal Oak. Did the karaoke there was there was Tim Barnett. There's no mana makki and me. most appalling karaoke was stuffed up the whole evening. [01:20:23] The mill wins for [01:20:25] the way through, but it's the same day as I was raised. And part of whatever it was. [01:20:36] It was quite a day as well as I was good. [01:20:39] Yeah, that was magic. [01:20:41] I was delighted that no smoking, because I have an allergy to smoke. And my eyes actually swell badly. And the smoking it was fear. Although we've been told to avoid, and very hard to avoid smoke when it was in bars and restaurants. [01:20:57] And by that time, of course, Carrie Prendergast, volunteer to access [01:21:04] celebrate, women didn't know she was a servant. [01:21:08] Carrie, because she visited the neighborhood was also a midwife. And we got another there. And so we were delighted and I think of the momentum from the known [01:21:20] then how we manage to organize everything and go to gay puffy for the honeymoon. How's that? Yeah. [01:21:29] Just rewind a wee bit. How did you propose propose to who? [01:21:34] Oh, wow. Do we propose [01:21:39] Yeah. [01:21:42] This is what we're gonna do. Yeah. [01:21:48] I don't know the ring the cannot remember [01:21:51] the ring one go my finger as a ceremony and I just said to everyone, I'm sure somebody has got some. [01:21:58] So [01:21:59] this is Kerry was was wonderful. She really was. It was services. How was the brass rescue solidarity band [01:22:06] and your kidneys, your children? [01:22:12] Nice sister. [01:22:14] It was great family. It was wonderful. family friends from all walks of life. And a few political speeches. Tim was there Charles Chevelle? Was there. More [01:22:27] metal this brother wasn't funny. [01:22:33] Anyway, it was a good it's a second party we had at the boat shed is we had a joint 100 and 30th birthday party, an arty farty, visual rz party that had some funny moments. Everybody had to sort of Sherburne Spark, or we had a couple of guys top of the stairs, wearing silver short, so it types over source. And last, they were painted on paper and putting glitter on people if they didn't glitter enough when they came in [01:23:11] the boat, should people still talk about that party? [01:23:16] Can you talk about the idea that civil unions I mean, that's that's such a new thing and New Zealand and just the idea that for a lot of your relationship, that wasn't a possibility. And then suddenly to have that possibility. How does that change your outlook and having a civil union to that? What did it mean to you? [01:23:38] What was it security, I do have an intensely homophobic older brother. And if something had happened to me, he would have immediately moved in trying to claim part of it is state show, I would not want them to Heaven forbid Hall. He's, unfortunately, his makeup is so way he looks at life as that by putting down other groups, he's on top, which only makes them more stupid. But that definitely, by having this civil union was setting gave to set extra security. [01:24:18] There's this this this legal side of it, but I also appreciate what you're saying. But I also find that it was a chance to sort of publicly in front of friends and family have our relationship acknowledged as being equal to everybody else's. So the recognition of our love, the strength of our relationship, the duration, the durability of our relationship. As an accepted by society, and we had now immediate society. Yeah, friends. Okay, friends, right friends or family. [01:25:05] The party Sure. [01:25:14] jokingly said that will have a divorce party. It's the marriage equality bill goes through, and then another party when we get very similar to this. But who knows? It might be necessary, because at the moment, of course, heterosexual couples will have either a civil union or [01:25:35] a marriage. Anyway, [01:25:38] we'll see. Wait and see. Would you take that step of going for a marriage? Yes. [01:25:46] I'm sure I might want to talk to [01:25:50] you said I want we want? [01:25:57] Yes. [01:26:02] Is it easy not to summarize it? [01:26:06] And show that [01:26:10] status? [01:26:12] Could you describe it as another nail in the coffin for bigotry? [01:26:19] It's another way we gained against the people who who cannot think beyond some weird belief that we are wrong. And to me that we should acknowledge it and say, here we are, we are as good as you. [01:26:41] Maybe we would have such a big part. [01:26:45] Now I would say we we will alive to Paris. [01:26:51] Anyone who wants to party comes. [01:26:54] I'll be fun. [01:26:56] You also gave a spoken submission to the parliamentary committee this time around for the marriage equality bill. What was that like in comparison to doing it the civil unions, but I found it easier. [01:27:09] Because the first time for me, it was a very formal, sort of their sort of occasion Who are these people? And I was especially in something very personal, very public in front of the press as well. And so that was It was lovely. But this time, it was a great deal easier. This thing, and you know, the questions were biologic intelius. And the reception of Mr. Bakshi was first five but back she was questioning was bizarre how they could believe he said, but he said, and he asked you if you get married, who will be the husband? Who will be the wife? He's surely not actually what I think he's asking. So my soul rather slow. Brian said, Well, really how relevant is that? Because the Marriage Act is gender free at the moment. And Ruth Dyson's was chairs seem to indicate to Bakshi that wasn't relevant question does chipped in to break the ice a wee bit. And, of course, if it helps john does most of the cooking, which was very constructive, because it could have got quite tense. He's a very bizarre question where we formally complained to this week, and we've gotten how to respond to [01:28:31] it. It didn't go through my mind. I sort of looked at that guy and thought, what, and I went through a mind, a Jehovah Witness came to our door, he recognized me from the Soviet Union campaign. And he said to me, oh, I recognize you from London, if you saw union campaign, or something like that. He said, are you there? Mr. Are you the missiles? [01:28:55] were saying, Chris, [01:28:56] I looked at my watch. And I said, You have one minute office probably forget the place. And as you wind up by Dr. Your favorite, I call him [01:29:07] Jupyter diggin? And some good language. I thought. Now you don't do that. I [01:29:14] like it. I don't tell Mr. Actually, what I think of it in those terms. So fortunately, sort of switched around. But we feel because that all told to treat the people who are getting submissions were decorum dignity and respect that he did none of that. So he owes us an apology. And if he was a decent, sort of like he would apologize. [01:29:41] And it was interesting to read in the press that when the media asked john key was he was in Burma, what they thought it was, he's also was to back to his question, oh, he's just doing his job. He's on the job training. [01:29:55] Think it will pants. [01:29:57] America, I'm very hopeful that it will over time that [01:30:02] went to the first radio was such a substantial majority, you'd have to lose a lot of votes. And more recently, a big guy out, I understand that john key has confirmed that he will, in fact, vote for it all the way through and further indicated that he hopes other members of his party will do the same. So he's given them a bit of a notice me that those who've already voted for it to get through. But what the hell is the debate about? Should they be divided? Totally should? What difference is it going to make to society except to gays and lesbians or transgender people, that they have the same rights? It's not impinging on anybody else's rights? It's not affecting anybody else except the couples who could benefit from the law. [01:30:57] The sugar, sir, I'm very hopeful indeed. [01:31:01] Yeah, I'd go on what john says on that, what you say is just Sure. [01:31:08] That's how I feel. But we can't be complacent. We've still got to say, Okay, we've got to do some work on this right to marry time it goes to its last reading. [01:31:21] So how do you see yourselves like activists or advocates? Or what are the words that you would use to describe [01:31:29] all ordinary spruce [01:31:34] springs to my mind is that I, over the years have become free with my thinking, and as a person, accepting who I am? And no one does say that I am inferior or superior. I'm another person on this planet, and should be treated equally. And I think the why a lot of time. I do voice my opinions, and tolerance. Yeah, we shouldn't be tolerant of a whole lot of things. But why should we be tolerant of the ignorance, bigotry and homophobia? But I think we shouldn't be tolerant of that. Or will it stay religion to me, but it's not an excuse? Okay, that's how they were brought up? No, I don't go along with that. I don't tolerate that. And so yeah, so yeah, I think that I'm happy to voice my opinions. And we've recently getting the award for the local hero has given me some media time. And I feel not for me, it's if I can help society as a whole. But half an hour, the other day on news talk to be it was good, because I could talk about my passion for Zambia and the plants now native plants. And then another sector was on the marriage equality bill, and he was a chance to voice how I feel. And then the third part, they talked about our gun, but these are things that I have a passion for. And hopefully that did have some faith. [01:33:26] Hope, just remember, that was a read an article which, which to me as a long term activist, and I read that with some some providers. [01:33:38] This is done. Right. And [01:33:42] have you ever been inclined to use the term advocate? More? I need to be riled up a bit to get off my back and do something. Yeah. [01:33:57] Okay, Africa. [01:34:07] You gave them back to us. [01:34:10] But you're both very visible. And I'm wondering how, how has that been? like for you? both individually? And as a couple [01:34:18] fun? Yeah, it's fun. It's interesting. I mean, we get a lot of joshing about media, queens are coming along here. [01:34:29] You're in the paper again, even to [01:34:32] Emma's neighbor yesterday. So have you thought about being in the paper, but the local hero business? So I had to remind her about the power behind the throne room, that sounds jazz. But it has been fun. It's been worthwhile. and enjoyable, because during that super unique campaign, yeah, we were very public. We had [01:34:59] some issues. [01:35:02] And we had no abuse. People were so supportive. Capital afar did wonders. For example, we went the day we got our license. The friend of ours organized the table, let Kathy the father, eight of us. And we apply to devices at home. And it was because carefully father's big round table, vows of pitfalls in the middle and I went up to the person who was running, I said, Look, let me have the tab on. She said, No, this is on us. I mean, that's all I'm saying. happened all the time. And we came out. We cross the road tomorrow versus a couple of guys in suits on the way to work or whatever. [01:35:53] Go for it, guys. It's all. [01:35:58] So it's been good. [01:36:00] Yeah, well, I think so. [01:36:04] The guy who was on the advertising estate brokers, he's dead. Somebody complained that other program of one sort or another Sunday or 2020, or whatever it was, that give them more time to ask the given to the opposition. And you said, I've seen you so many times, you do come down in favor of your? [01:36:30] Yeah, I don't know, I'd hate to feel that I've sort of got on a bandwagon and think that I've got the answers. But it does, you know, it does give a chance. We cannot buy that time. We cannot to buy the advertising. Yeah. And it does give a chance. I feel as I've seen so often that society as a whole more being with others, and that the generation will benefit by what we're doing. And not only for gay rights, but also the environment, [01:37:10] if he shows how old were gay people. That's good. [01:37:13] I think with the award and the cause of stress movie environment, one of them for their then they have for gay rights, like create them on there. And make sure that both both equal. And it's just that I have that passion and it's just wonderful to be able to know that there is someone taking note. And someone's interested also. Yeah. [01:37:45] Probably switch radio of a sudden the guy [01:37:48] just from most hear that you've won local, the local Hero Award. Yes. And you're hitting up talk on what next week? Yes. And what's it for [01:37:58] this for as a finalist, local national fun [01:38:02] states over 700 and nobody's nominees over 700 nominees. And so to be selected in the final 10 out of New Zealand that think is quite something not for me but reflect those that game of got that visibility. a gay person an open gaming is recognized for not only gay rights, but also for good work done within the community. No one [01:38:34] compared the [01:38:37] gala opening the pride festival, young New Zealander of the year from last year [01:38:44] Sam Johnston there, man. Yeah, [01:38:47] so there's several categories, local hero community here young person, senior person, and New Zealanders. This is in the local hero category which is good. He was nominated also for the senior but we found that in grant and gospel Vicar are also in the city so quite glad he didn't get [01:39:10] nominated The thing I don't think Catholic records got any me. [01:39:14] I think he's probably a been edged out. [01:39:18] Looking back at your relationship and the time you have here together. Can you tell me some of your maybe happiest moments? Oh, [01:39:32] so many [01:39:33] trips overseas or just being that measure? Yeah. I mean, that one trip to Tanya's reading Emily I mean, that was just incredible. From a wedding in Italy up to the surface who Italy onto the mistake of holding back on what they call the Swiss Riviera rushing over to the valley for cycle trophy. [01:40:01] We'll just be invited to mentor others [01:40:04] how would you like to spend some time in fraud Wow. [01:40:10] That was fabulous when he got free conversation. [01:40:15] And then also suddenly, finally that my daughter turned up there with her then boyfriend, [01:40:20] but very serious time we've had dinner parties and and John's daughters place and and also relevant. Joyce's mining our grandchildren. They are delightful two kids, they get dropped off here because Emma is a journalist and she brings up the good work. Can I drop the kids off at seven? You feed them take them to school? And we wait on them recently, and they're so polite. And I bought [01:40:48] unintentional ganda, which is really good. And I had to [01:40:51] pick them up remember? The kids see where's the car and as you walk? No car. Man will step farther down the road? [01:41:05] Oh, yes, yes. I think to really America sit now. Hold my hand. We're all hold hands as we cross the road. And little Ruby looks at me and she says do hold John's head when you cross the road. Sorry. [01:41:19] She's also done another gym. So grandchildren. [01:41:23] superfluous to this conversation but we met someone who acts as a supplementary teacher. He said I know your granddaughter at school. Oh, yeah. He said I said to her no mom is famous. Isn't she? Yeah. Mommy bigger TV journalism TV through an ABC? Yes, but no, it's not as famous as popper. Oh, what's proper famous for gay rights? She's at the age of eight. I think that's wonderful. Yeah, just matter of fact. Yeah. So yeah, [01:41:59] but what about things that like holding hands I mean, it seems such a simple thing in such a just a obvious thing. Yeah. That out in public. I mean, is that something that you you feel are not comfortable? [01:42:16] We do it for newbies. [01:42:18] We do it at the movies and we did it in possibly yeah okay but general Rhonda saying I'm not comfortable I don't feel that society seems to accept it as we became sort of rainbow flag soon yeah, [01:42:38] it was going past the metro pump came the rainbow flags and the tsunami hitting the map [01:42:46] and then nothing like during homosexual or for my channel rock through my car from a windscreen? Yeah. Sure then spread on from I and we did have the house stone couple of solar panels, bro. Yeah, siren. But you don't get that now. [01:43:05] You do get more bashes in Cairo. [01:43:09] Which is a worry. We've been several recently. [01:43:16] So there we are we making progress. [01:43:22] What about [01:43:24] thinking about other kinds of moments? What about the saddest moments [01:43:32] down here on this list as sadist [01:43:48] loss of your mom [01:43:51] has always said [01:43:54] someone I remember particularly a neighbor, Louise's. We had him Monday service here complete with the ashes of a woman who had been essentially a refugee from Czechoslovakia, Indiana. And she gone to the states to catch up with her son and couldn't stay in the States because there was no transferable pension. And it came back here and she sort of tried to find various places to stay because she's only been sold. We couldn't put her up because we were looking after disease. Well, later on, we were asked by the sun to hold some sort of memorial service, which we did. And we got some information first people came down. But some of the people came down our elderly. [01:44:50] Yeah, they, they were Jewish refugees still have a tattoo marks on their arms. And it was very moving when they started speaking about Louisa, who was a lovely, very, very eloquent mom, very, very elegant. And I still remember going to her home in the late 1950s. And having Vienna schnitzel, something never knew even existed in New Zealand, and she had this past year, or about a vaccine done. She does a Catholic family. But she married a Jew. And so had to flee. Her brother who helped who was a Catholic priest was beheaded by the Nazis one month before this, because he knew too much. And she went through all this when she came back to New Zealand when she refused to stay in the States because she would have bankrupted the family. And they wanted to stay, they came back and forth, back and forth. And that's why we ended up holding the funeral. He was the son Chris said, we speak so much going back and forth language for moms. All right, the only thing we can do now is if you record a memorial service, and then we'll do the same mistakes and show the video. So we did that. But it was very, very, very moving away. Just to think, you know, the heroes of what happens when people seem to think they are so bloody right? That Jewish people and not humans, there's something to be derived to, to treat. Worse, not your treatment animal. And these memories came back with Louisa. And was just so sad or incredibly here relate the horrors of war. And these people who came for funeral were survivors from refugee camps. Yeah, so it was very moving, very moving hearing about their life. And [01:47:10] we've done some we've had that. We've had also [01:47:21] we had a grandchild named here. So we had the baptism was it. [01:47:27] Yeah. And we had the match and we had a gay lesbian wedding here. As a gay man, lesbian. It was all very rushed. And hilarious. [01:47:42] The bride was to tolerate to say the least. [01:47:44] Marriage marriage heck going to get past this very him forward because this was a way she could stay with her partner in New Zealand. And she wanted one of us to marry her. And we said no, no, we are a couple we don't want to but we had a friend staying here and he said I will. And he volunteered. And so [01:48:09] waiting gang and everything we say that would go wrong seemed to go wrong. We got to celebrate plan. [01:48:15] They organize they all did all I did organize [01:48:24] a cake. [01:48:26] Did all the trivia for the bridegroom was [01:48:29] some macula [01:48:30] Yeah, but he was it was wholly disorganized. [01:48:34] Many barrios neighbors came in and they dressed up for the occasion and [01:48:39] I'll use the one neighbor came on with a beautiful white hat on because the celebrant didn't know what we're up to. And she came But what happened is the rather Butch bride came down the drive and she bought a lot of carnations, some friend of his group carnations and I said well bring them along I'll make your bouquet. I've done for Austria. I couldn't make a nice bouquet. And I said look show me what you'll be wearing for the wedding and I'll pick up something to make sure show me this but a cloth a bit of material she pulled out of the garment out of a bag and it was all in blue pink Marta something relevant I picked up these carnations I got some training variegated made it very feminine for her to hold but what it is she read to me baby room to change. She came out still have a quarter way trails as long [01:49:34] as complex. [01:49:37] Meanwhile, he was beautiful trading. [01:49:41] I was watching glasses. Oh, somebody downstairs and somebody said Oh, the celebrant wants to see you. Philly who see me. Okay, so it was very, very nice woman. Okay, now you're the owner of this house. down this fucking house. I wasn't at that time. I said, I can't this stage. You can't say anything good. I know. Right? Yes, I'm the owner of this house. and blah, blah, blah, blah blah. But this Teutonic bride had assumed things not told anybody anything. So we went ahead and we had to play this game. That was my house. Because the celebrate was very sad. There's no poetry there's no nothing. [01:50:31] No photos on the path. Oh, that's. [01:50:38] She said [01:50:42] this is some color go brown on the book. Oh, thank you for reminding me that she [01:50:49] got worse. worse. [01:50:52] He got the giggle. Yeah, [01:50:53] I start laughing because Richie started saying something about I can't remember the Oh, gosh, you know, and because the bride line [01:51:05] because the bride [01:51:12] to look on the face of the girl was nothing. He doesn't want to kiss. [01:51:22] We've had a it was a celebrants birthday. So we sort of converted it fairly rapidly to a sort of a birthday party. So it became a birthday cake. And pleased to have but I will give confidence to the bride because she had a [01:51:39] lot of those cameras. [01:51:42] push our photo straight away. Apologize Polaroid Yeah. She said some photos the next day. And there's no witnesses in this picture of both of us type. lovely woman was coming clean for us occasionally. She came in she said you know she played and got married didn't live by me. [01:52:09] buggers Michael [01:52:10] Jordan made that cake in a wonderful job. We did have decorating. It was really really good. Like I had with a ribbon around up. And it was a lovely looking wedding cake. And it was neat off by the groom. He was gonna take [01:52:27] waiting. It's [01:52:31] just we don't know quite what happened to [01:52:36] so this house is saying all go to work from go to work. [01:52:41] And some good parties, because downstairs is nice big lounge. And that's where the Yankee Doodle do. We've had a [01:52:49] closet opening party by the absolutely published fabulous patchy [01:52:55] and I have done still nothing new by the way. [01:53:01] What's it like growing older together? [01:53:03] Now we are we all? [01:53:06] Know I have no idea. I'm serious? No, it's not a concept that I get hold of. Fortunately, we were just going together. [01:53:16] We grow together and we keep good health. And you sort of don't look on yourself as being on the other people probably. [01:53:23] Right? So yes, well, you don't look at dates, [01:53:28] very long on the earth and make the best of it. And hopefully we do. Keep going a little while Yeah, I'm still [01:53:38] I don't know if I can keep up the pace on doing at the moment. But [01:53:42] don't get out hills quite as easily gets to the top of the cocoa. [01:53:46] What I do do organize a restoration group up here of about 50 people plus diving in the lane dia plus what I can do for gay rights plus [01:53:57] Alka, and also a bit of painting. [01:54:02] So what does all this stuff into the house? [01:54:06] And John's good? [01:54:10] I couldn't I really could not do those things that went through john, there's no way could I [01:54:16] share anything. [01:54:19] date for the bills check better organize every month, [01:54:23] we don't try to do it, [01:54:25] I write it down. I'll do the research because I always find important one for that and a couple of fora just to keep people's interest and now from foreigner. And it takes a little bit just to get something like that Russian up. And what we've done the last week can be when the next week and be as etc. And this goes out not only are found out but I seen the copy to the illicit working group as well. And they've seen that all the members. And then of course, it's john who Ada that's and and total up when we do that once a month. So all that does. [01:55:03] Yeah, so time consuming. It's interesting, you know, people say who does the cooking on? Who is the one who prays does it happen because I was retired. But I moved in here. This was fairly logical. [01:55:20] When he came home [01:55:23] it sort of stayed that way. But this is very good. Cook. [01:55:27] nia. [01:55:33] Johnny's a good cold. I like eating his food, Lucy light gray all together. [01:55:39] retirement, funny man, retirement. [01:55:45] What we have seen, [01:55:48] we have thought if this property does pay too much to do, we don't mind the idea of apartment loving downtown provided isn't a private outdoor space, which is quite a big house because we do like going out. And the joy of this house is the privacy. And I think that's one requirement. And I've almost changed a lot of my views on gardening and gardeners being one myself that we are not always very environmentally friendly. More people that can be encouraged to live in apartments will design we have an outdoor spot that's private so they can enjoy outdoor will inch later. So sound you're not getting other sound. And it's going to reduce the amount of energy we need for heating. We don't have to walk so far and those interests that I'm doing gardening you have a community garden for vegetables, or you do restoration work, and now hills on winning and winning terms of giving back that wonderful bush which should be powerful. Today we are that's the way I look at things now. So don't fear going to live in an apartment or retirement home. I don't know. [01:57:10] We might meet your brother. Come on. [01:57:14] Brother Scott, and [01:57:17] every interesting we could really stir things up currently. [01:57:20] Well I like the idea is the two guys. We met couple of retired teachers in California who Rossmo was something like 10,000 people over the age of 55. So they set up a great group there. They work very well. Unfortunately Paul has just done [01:57:38] amazing amazing [01:57:41] but it's the isolating yourself from the community at large and sort of brothers community young people I think need to see someone who can walk so well or do something so they get an idea about differences and a healthy thing. But then again, there are people who just can't cart and it's good that they have better systems [01:58:09] be the mount he [01:58:12] was his [01:58:16] grandkids come in and they used to sort of throw the kids toys down. [01:58:20] Man you distracting away from that. [01:58:24] A little bit of Beaver under the conversation Are [01:58:30] you referring to up your sneakers? Yeah all kinds of toys and yeah, fever. Mountie from Canada. [01:58:36] Yeah, from Montreux games. [01:58:38] Are you collecting these from from whenever you go overseas? [01:58:41] No, no, no. Mostly given most of them for visiting bears [01:58:46] growing out of gang up most thieves and whacking them all down which they seem to delight and doing but I try to encourage some I didn't buy this from Celine Dion and you can play that [01:59:04] just encouraging to learn [01:59:10] in the the half naked Native American Indian we receive from [01:59:17] the Canada ba [01:59:22] actually Ruby now right your granddaughter said mother lost an appropriate Canada. [01:59:31] Previous cozy has been no he'd been [01:59:34] Emma previous on the redhead naked me and I've had Cox [01:59:38] a little boy, look at verse five. And Father said don't mean a funny name. He said, Yes, they are funny. [01:59:49] So [01:59:50] how are we doing? We're doing very well. Just one last question. And then as you were speaking about young people seeing older people before, and so they get a senior of the diversity in community. And I'm wondering, what kind of advice would you give to young people if you had a chance to say to young people nowadays, you know, some life lessons or some advice, [02:00:13] version, but really, don't be afraid of being yourself to stand up to bullying. I get very worried about the level of bullying in schools. Don't let yourself be bullied. I'm sure there is help around on some counselors or from parents. And it's a bit like you'll find that society is getting a bit easier for you. If you see that somebody can have a life partner of the same gender as yourself. And it's recognized accepted in the matter effective society, which is what it should be. Just Matter of fact, [02:00:50] but I got along on that is that just find out who you are, except who you are. What You Are you your orientation might be or your capabilities or what you're interested in and follow those interests and Christian authority. Don't just accept because someone says such and such. Just question and just find more, find out a little bit more about living life and [02:01:24] also enjoy your [02:01:25] fun. Yeah, enjoy life. Just remember, but not at the expense of someone else. And when I think your philosophy or thinking does stop causing suffering of another human being doing to me that's evil. So don't become evil. Just stay [02:01:49] good and enjoy life. Yeah.

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