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Shane Austen Reid

22 December 1965 - 11 February 1994

Photo of Shane Austen Reid's panel on the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt

For more detail, a high-resolution version of this image (about 5 times wider than shown above) is available for download here. Broadband is recommended - file is big (6.8Mb).

This panel forms part of Block 16 of the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt.


From the stories folder that accompanies The Quilt to displays

Shane, we had no other way to show our grief for you.

It was terrible to have heard on the ‘grape vine’ two weeks too late for your funeral. And then the weeks - no, months, as piece after piece was fitted to the puzzle.

I wish so much we could have known the person behind the mask, behind the uniform. That is forever lost to us now. So many lost opportunities.

As the panel says: “What could we do, but light a candle for you”.

This is a candle that will never burn out.

Love from Lisa and Paul.


Shane, you were such a special son and friend. You gave so much love and you took so little. You were always there for me when I needed someone and it breaks my heart when I think that I was unable to be there for you when you needed me so much. If only you had had the courage to tell me. If only I could have held you in my arms and comforted you.

But you are with me every day now. In everything I do and everywhere I go.

You were everything that I would like to be, Shane.

I love you and miss you so much,


Words cannot express now I feel about losing my 28 year old son, Shane, to an AIDS related condition.

Shane died just 14 days after finding out he was HIV positive, and out of those 14 days he was conscious for only 8.

Sadly, I did not know of his diagnosis until he was unconscious.

This has caused me so much heartache. Those precious days when he felt he could not tell me, and at the same time I knew there was something terribly wrong and he didn’t want to talk about it. I know how devastated and frightened he must have felt.

Those few precious days when I could have said so much to him, but felt that when he was feeling a bit better he would be able to talk about it. Then suddenly that opportunity was gone.

I think as parents we take so much for granted with our children, especially as they become young adults. We go about our lives thinking
- Of course they know we love them.
- Of course they know we are there for them and they can come to us when they are desperate.
- Of course they know we will support them.

But do they really know these things?
Do we tell them we love them?
Do we tell them they can come to us when they are feeling desperate, ill and frightened?
Do we tell them we will support them?

How much better equipped we would be to deal with the grief and aftermath if when it was over we knew in our hearts that our son or daughter had known we were there for them and had loved and supported them through this terrible time.

How much better equipped our children would be to deal with this devastating news if they knew they could safely come to us and say, ‘I am really ill and I need your love and support’.

I now realise how important it is, that if you think that your son or daughter is in trouble, say something, don’t leave it.

My one hope would be, if I could change the thinking and the actions of just one mum or dad by telling my story, then something positive would have come out of what were my tragic set of circumstances.


There is another panel for Shane on Block 11.  

If you knew Shane and wish to add your memories to this page, or wish to remember a loved one with a strong connection to New Zealand who has been lost to AIDS, you may do so on this page.

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