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Out! founder remembered as a "wonderful" person

Wed 6 Jun 2012 In: New Zealand Daily News View at NDHA

The late John Kiddie (right) with his longtime partner Tony Katavich (left) From showgirls to business colleagues, tributes are flowing from all corners of the gay community for John Kiddie. The 65-year-old co-founder of Out! Magazine and the so-called ‘Out! Empire’ died peacefully at home on Sunday, after a battle with cancer. He leaves behind his partner of 46 years Tony Katavich. Together with the late Brett Sheppard the pair ran numerous businesses including the Alfies nightclubs in Auckland and Wellington, the Westside sauna in Auckland, the Colombo in Christchurch and Wellington's Wakefield sauna. Nicole Duval, one of the stars of the Bloomers Review which headlined for many years at Alfies in Auckland, says she "feels for Tony, they were such a lovely couple." Stephen Barbarich worked within the Out! organisation for 20 years, including as manager of the group’s travel agency Travel Desk. “John was wonderful person and helpful to everybody. He kept things in the office running smoothly. His attention to detail was striking and this carried over into his appearance,” he recalls. “You could never get him out of his suit. Summer, winter, autumn and spring John was always wearing a suit. “He was an aficionado of Waterford crystal and a collector and their home is a testament to his years of collecting Waterford,” he adds. Wayne Otter, a community worker by day and often drag diva Miss K by night, says Kiddie was a fastidious person and always good for a smutty joke. “A very private man but very polite and pleasant and helpful. He had a real twinkle in his eye, especially when he was taking you into his office to tell an off-colour joke,” Otter says. Otter says he just knew the couple as people active in the community, and to Katavich he says he is "sorry to hear of his loss, it must leave a gaping hole in his life,” and his thoughts are with him. Kiddie’s funeral will be held at Purewa All Saints Chapel in Meadowbank on Thursday 7 June at 3PM. In lieu of flowers, donations to Mercy Hospice, PO Box 47693, Ponsonby would be appreciated.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 6th June 2012 - 9:04am

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