The Circle of Friends memorial Five new names have been added to New Zealand Circle of Friends memorial in Auckland's Western Springs Lakeside Park. They are Peter Darcy Hitchfield, Rodney Leitch-Heggie, Sister Paula Brettkelly, Bruce Kilmister and Peter Hutchen. Situated in the park's Kanuka Grove, the Circle of Friends is a place of reflection, to commemorate the lives of those who have been impacted by HIV/AIDS. It was created almost ten years ago. In a sun-filled ceremony on Sunday, founding trustee Jonathan Smith paid tribute to those who have passed on. He also explained the concept of the circle, where not only the names of people that have been lost to HIV can be inscribed, but also the names of anybody living or dead who has been affected by HIV. There was a strong turn out from the family of the late Sister Paula Brettkelly, a Catholic nun who embraced the gay communities' fight against HIV and discrimination. The Brettkelly family and friends Families were then offered time to chat, then a blessing followed from Michael Bancroft, where he told those gathered: “We mourn for what might have been; for all the hopes, dreams, and accomplishments that might have been realised by these precious lives, of those taken away from us much too soon, much too tragically.” “We also acknowledge the names listed here of those who are living and surround the departed with memories and each other with comfort and hope.” Smith also thanked the retiring Circle of Friends trustees; Todd Andews and Maggie Barry, then welcomed the new trustees; Bruce Kilmister, Kevin Baker and Scott Johnson.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Saturday, 5th June 2010 - 1:22pm
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