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Georgina Beyer humbled by tribute evening

Fri 15 Nov 2013 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Georgina Beyer has been given a rousing and colourful ‘this is your life’ style celebration in Wellington tonight, full of memories, jokes and tribute shows. Among those who attended the fundraiser for the ill former MP at the James Cabaret were MPs from Labour, the Greens, Mana, the Maori Party and New Zealand First, and longtime friends from all walks of life. Stories ranged from the raunchy from Beyer’s time as a working girl, to heartfelt tales of how she had made imprints on many lives. Helen Clark sent a message from New York, describing her as a courageous person who broke through all the glass ceilings that existed. Former Labour MP Tim Barnett said he and fellow gay MP Chris Carter were a “drab act compared to what happened when Georgina entered Parliament.” Friend and former colleague Tariana Turia paid the most touching tribute, recalling how Beyer stood by her when she left Labour during the foreshore and seabed ruction, something which meant a great deal to Turia and her family. “Georgina is a special person,” she said. “I wish I was 30 years younger so I could give you a kidney,” she added, before expressing the hope that somebody else will. Beyer said it was an amazing event. “I am very humbled by all of you who have come here tonight to share your respects. Sometimes you don’t feel that it’s been worth it at all, but this night has just capped all of that. I feel loved and I feel wanted and needed and honoured by all of you being here.” It was also Beyer’s birthday tonight and she summed up her feelings looking back on her 56 years with the statement: “It has been a fabulous life really. And if it didn’t have all the colour, the light and the grey, then it wouldn’t really be a life at all would it?” As for her kidney failure, Beyer says she doesn’t see it as insurmountable. “I prefer to look on the positive, otherwise it’s going to get you down of you don’t and send you off out of here more quickly than otherwise.” She said she realises there are others who are more needy, and she is not looking for any kind of “shortcut to decent health”.  [Editor's note: Daily News is unable to present any photographic images from the Tribute night as we were advised just hours before it got underway we and other media were excluded from having cameras present due to an arrangement negotiated with the organisers by a womens magazine. We lobbied hard and passionately to be able to take even a few photos to no avail. We apologise to our readers for this omission from our coverage. We also had earlier confirmation that we would be able to speak with Brian Tamaki regarding the Tamaki's presence at the event and on the subject of their attitudes to gay people and our lives but this access was also prevented on the night.]    

Credit: Daily News

First published: Friday, 15th November 2013 - 12:36am

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