Close friends and family of the late Carmen Rupe are seeking feedback on their plans to create a trans-Tasman memorial trust, as concerns swirl in both nations about people with less sincere motives who may be trying to cash in on her name. The Carmen Rupe Memorial Trust will be established early this year by Carmen's former legal guardians, in cooperation with close friends, family representatives and the executors of Carmen's estate. It will aim to commemorate Carmen's life, celebrate her many achievements, perpetuate her legacy as a glbt cultural icon and further her interests in education and social justice through charitable work. Close friend Jurgen Hoffman says the group is grateful to the many people who were there for Carmen during those last difficult months and subsequently came out in their droves to make her funeral such a deeply moving experience. "It was extremely difficult saying goodbye to someone that meant so much to this community but having so many wonderfully kind people coming along to celebrate Carmen's life really helped soften the blow. More importantly, it enabled us to give Carmen a send off truly worthy of the powerful and important life that she had lived," he says. "Our next task is working to perpetuate Carmen's legacy. A group of us have already developed some interesting ideas around how the Carmen Rupe Memorial Trust might come together as a not-for-profit vehicle to further the many causes that Carmen cared deeply about on both sides of the Tasman through charitable work." Hoffman says the group also welcomes input from the wider community and is very interested in hearing from others who might like to get involved – especially lawyers, accountants, corporate mavens, designers and event producers – "people who share not just our passion, but who have particular skills that can help us achieve great things to honour Carmen's memory," he says. "We know how many talented, driven people in our community loved and respected Carmen just as much as we did - now we're seeking to bring them together in common cause to further this important project.” One of the Trusts first initiatives will be working with director Lucy Hayes to produce a feature length documentary on Carmen’s life. This project will build upon Hayes' 11 minute film Carmen and create a feature version. Hayes has agreed to donate all profits from the production to the Carmen Rupe Memorial Trust to help fund its future projects. To express interest in becoming involved email CarmenRupeMemorialTrust@gmail.com Darker motives The move to set up an official Trust come as there are concerns about people trying to cash in on Carmen's name. The volunteer who ran Carmen's Facebook page, and continues to do so as a memorial page, has been threatened by people asking for the page to be used to endorse everything from political parties, organisations and drag shows to personal campaigns. "Please don't send me messages with such requests or make demands with threats," the volunteer Pindi-Rochelle Hurring says, adding, "I do know she would not be happy that people are threatening me with consequences if I do not do what they wish." However Hurring has stated she is happy to work with The Carmen Rupe Memorial Trust, which has its own Facebook page here.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Wednesday, 11th January 2012 - 1:24pm
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