Peter Taylor deep in thought as the tribute progresses 10.15PM: An emotional evening is unfolding in Auckland as the gay communities and friends and family of Peter Taylor gather to pay tribute to him before he stops the debilitating medical treatments which have kept him alive for decades, albeit in increasing levels of pain and discomfort in recent months. After an opening performance by drag star Tess Tickle, during which a tearful Taylor joined in, the equestrian, gay venue owner and icon of endurance in the face of HIV infection thanked the pack crowd for attending. He told the crowd their presence made him realise that he was not going to have to die alone. During a break in the proceedings, as a red-bound book began to circulate through the audience allowing people to record messages to Taylor, he quietly moved from table to table chatting with and thanking people personally. Back on stage his early life on a farm were remembered by his youngest sister, Yvonne, and his time in Sydney studying hotel management were recalled by a fellow-student and friend of 42 years standing. Larry Quickenden, with whom Taylor started Urge bar also contributed memories and the current Urge owners noted that a small tattoo motif which has appeared on all their promotional t-shirts for years was originally selected by Taylor. His equestrian years, during which he was for a time part of the New Zealand Olympic Equestrian support team, were recalled via a video message from two members of the Canadian equestrian team, Lorraine Lafran Boise and Paige Wilde, who became highly emotional as they spoke. Throughout this first part of the presentation Taylor has been supported by his partner, Rodney Coleman, who has mostly sat quietly, deep in thought and personal reflection. The tribute has paused so the meal can continue but will shortly resume with other times and aspects of Taylor's life and character to be illustrated.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Saturday, 31st August 2013 - 10:07pm
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