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2006 New Year's honours: Lifetime Achievement Awards

Mon 1 Jan 2007 In: Community

There are few names that somehow didn't neatly fit into our Top Ten Finest and Foulest lists, people we couldn't quite decide on. Yet these people made a splash in ways that undoubtedly had a strong impact on the gay community and glbt individuals. So, before we open the envelopes to announce our three Lifetime Achievement Awards, here, in alphabetical order, are the three we are left pondering about... DON BRASH There's a black cloud hovering over Don Brash, who started out by embracing some kind of vision of gay equality (vis a vis Civil Unions at least) then threw us to the redneck wolves and religious nutters in the name of pumping up National's numbers. He did however obliquely apologise to us in his valedictory speech to Parliament, and was discreetly personally generous to Rainbow Youth in Auckland. We remain unsure about Don! OUTTAKES FILM FESTIVAL ORGANISERS Ok, the gratifying upshot of the 'Win a holiday in gay-intolerant Fiji' affair was that eventually a murky area between Fiji's constitution and law was clarified and officially no longer supports harrasment, by police and others, of gays in Fiji. But OutTakes blundered into this one and then bizarrely tried the 'gay rights isn't our issue, we just show films' defense, which was hardly acceptable in a New Zealand glbt-focussed organisation. Bad process, good outcome. PHILIP STURM Sturm is the Auckland resturanteur who was convicted of stupifying with drugs a number of apparently straight young chaps for sexual liaisons. But was Sturm the unjustly brutalised victim off the "I happily took a few pills and then tried sucking another guy's cock and now I'm embarrassed about it all and I'll deal with that by setting the cops on the gay guy who provided the pills and the cock" syndrome? Or is he a sleazy sexual predator? The court judgement may have been that Sturm was a jailable stupifying sleazebag but... * * * * * * * Now for the uplifting part of our New Year awards, GayNZ.com's Lifetime Achievement Awards for 2006! NEVILLE CREICHTON In his previous life Neville was a married man and a Presbytarian minister to boot. But awareness of his homosexuality came late in life and changed all that. Neville took the welfare of gay and lesbian Aucklanders to heart and for years and years was the mainstay of Gayline/Lesbianline and Auckland Gay and Lesbian Welfare. A gentle, knowledgeable man, he could be relied on to regularly provide the media with pithy and apposite quotes, and was for a brief establishing period the first Director of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation. Neville retired from AGLW last month, leaving a legacy of commitment and determination that is hard to match. ROD ELLIS-PEGLER Over 20 years ago the scariest disease in the world was HIV, untreatable, untouchable, and killing gay New Zealanders left, right and centre. Auckland-based infectious diseases specialist Rod Ellis-Pegler was the first kiwi medic to have to deal with the realities of the epidemic. With intelligence, insight, energy and compassion he kept the medical fraternity, politicians, gays and those personally affected by the virus informed and focussed. Rod did the rounds of gay and straight community groups and organisations, often in the company of the sainted Bruce Burnett who soon died of HIV illness, and helped underscore New Zealand's rational and un-sensationalist approach to understanding and heading off HIV infection. This compassionate and committed man, who mixed forthrightness with humanity, retired last month and will be sorely missed. POLLYFILLA, (AKA COLIN MCLEAN) Glamorous, vivacious, professional and tireless, Pollyfilla was for years the queen of Wellington's drag divas, mixing genuine performing talent with outrageous costumes and a total commitment to the Wellington community and events. If it was worth supporting, Pollyfilla fronted up and added magic and style. She generously supported emerging drag talent and showed that high heels and fake tits can equal class. Polly's off to Melbourne now, trying her luck and talent in that bigger, fiercer market. Good luck Pollyfilla, and thanks for everything!     GayNZ.com staff - 1st January 2007

Credit: GayNZ.com staff

First published: Monday, 1st January 2007 - 12:00pm

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