Article Title:Remembering Nicholas Morgan 1948-2007
Author or Credit:Matt Akersten and Scott Dunning
Published on:20th August 2007 - 11:39 pm
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Story ID:4806
Text:It's no surprise that the funeral of Nicholas Morgan was well-attended. As the owner of Auckland's Flesh nightclub for four years, and Hamilton's Venom nightclub boss since December last year, Morgan had employed, looked after, and enjoyed drinks with a lot of people. On an overcast Friday in Hamilton Gardens, a large gathering heard how his generous spirit - and his generous servings of spirits - transformed the lives of dozens of individuals in from all over New Zealand and abroad. Several carloads of Aucklanders, a handful of Wellingtonians and individuals from everywhere between and beyond had taken the day off work and driven for an hour or more to pay their respects. The age range varied from gents in their seventies to a young male couple who looked like recent school-leavers. It was also a 'who's who' of the Waikato's gay nightclub entertainers - some in drag, some not - with several who never normally see each other in daylight. Morgan's jumpy Doberman - called 'Gucci' - was there too. In front of the seating in the Hamilton Gardens Pavilion were several plants, colourful flowers, pictures of Morgan and his friends, hand painted orthodox Christian ikons, and a few of his favourite mirrored disco balls. The music was a unique blend of traditional Russian orthodox chants, mixed in with a few 'handbag' nightclub classics provided by DJ Love. Ex-Catholic Priest Michael Bancroft decided to wear his ceremonial robe to present the introductory speech. "Nicholas was a Russian Orthodox Monk for over twenty years," he explained, "and he always used to say to me at Flesh - 'one night you put your robe on, I'll put mine on, and we'll have a great time'. "Nicholas Morgan's original name was Kenneth, but in accordance with monastic tradition, he was named after one of the Saints - Saint Nicholas," Bancroft revealed. The majority of the service was a time for people to share their memories of Nicholas, and the tributes and stories were many. Many accounts reflected the life of a generous man, loving and devoted to his friends. With a keen intelligence and intense spirituality, he was remembered as a man who held to his beliefs with a passion that could sometimes lead to the occasional (and at some points intense) disagreement. The common theme amongst all these accounts were that Nicholas' welcoming aura, the insightful private discussions he had with many, and the impact he had on so many lives will be severely missed. His contribution in raising the rainbow flag, firstly in a traditionally straight district of Auckland through Flesh, and then on what was the somewhat conservative main street of Hamilton with Venom will always be remembered. Kerry Kearney, AKA DJ Love, had been Morgan's partner for six years. They separated last year but still remained friends. "I met Nicholas by accident," he told the assembly. "I was a postie about eight years ago. He used to watch me from behind his fence. One day he came down with his wheelbarrow as I was cycling past. Bang! And that's how we met. "He was always good to my mother, and to my dog Sausage. He'll never be forgotten," Kearney added. The funeral was 'open casket', but after the tributes the coffin was closed and flowers were piled on top. A bright pink 'Flesh' sash was also draped over the casket, and his rainbow scarf - since he hated being cold. The wake was held at Venom, with Morgan's coffin beside the dancefloor with a double of whisky for his final journey. The following day he was transported to Levin, to be buried in his home town.     Matt Akersten and Scott Dunning - 20th August 2007
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