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John Chorlton

22 October 1963 - 27 February 1997

Photo of John Chorlton'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 (6.9 Mb).

This panel is still to be joined to a block of the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt.


From the stories folder that accompanies The Quilt to displays

John, the second of three boys, was the oldest of identical twins, born in Nelson and growing up in Auckland before heading overseas where he spent the rest of his adult life.

While overseas, John based himself in London from where he travelled to over 40 other countries, especially in Asia and Africa. While not travelling, John enjoyed gardening, especially cacti, and it was hard to hold him back from a party. Another favourite pastime of Johnís was origami.

All of these interests in Johnís life are depicted in his panel with the cactus, origami crane, wineglass and map of the part of the world where he did most of his travelling, with China being the next place to visit, but where he never got to. The gardening interest is also represented by the kowhai and rose, which also represent the two countries where he spent most of his life.

John worked for the Westminster City Council where he worked as a social worker helping the poor. He also spent many hours in the swimming pool, with swimming being his main way of keeping fit.

The scenes represent the three centres where he lived most of his life, Nelson, Auckland, and London.

The short piece of music are the opening bar of Nature Boy, (by Nat King Cole), one of his favourite pieces. It also represents a strong interest in music, which saw him playing in the Salvation Army band in his younger days.

The quote in the middle of the panel above his photo is from the story of The Selfish Giant, by Oscar Wilde. This piece was also on the Order of Service for his funeral, held in Earlís Court, London.

Johnís father, Roy, is now living back in Nelson and made this panel with help from the friends he made in the Nelson HIV/AIDS Support Network.


Photo of the Nelson HIV/AIDS Support Network and John's father, Roy making John's panel
John's father, Roy (centre right wearing a blue top) is helped by other members of the Nelson HIV/AIDS Support Network at a sewing-bee to make John's panel.
It was shortly after this photo was taken, that the panel was accidentally glued to the table (with super-glue) - a small piece of varnish from the table is still on the back of the panel.

Photo of John's father, Roy after John's panel to The Quilt Project, 1998.
John's father, Roy, with John's panel shortly after it was presented to The Quilt Project at the National Display in the Copthorne Rutherford Hotel in Nelson, 1998.


Tony has this to say about John:

John came to live in my house when he first left NZ and arrived in Melbourne. I remember him very well and have always had a soft spot in my heart for him. I knew he had gone to London but have only just become aware of his passing. He was a great guy and sadly missed.

Added November 2010


If you knew John 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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