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Peter Alexander Cockburn

1 September 1964 - 17 November 1993

Photo of Peter Alexander Cockburn'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 (9.12 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

The Quilt is a picture of Peterís life starting with the bright sun flowers on the left, the bright gay flowers which were always part of his life. His love of animals is expressed by the picture of his dog in the left corner, and of course butterflies and peacock feathers. The camera was always with him, especially on his many travelling adventures around the world. His own photo is framed with the Cockburn tartan giving his link to the Scottish family. The final part shows the last two years with his love of fine wine, food, cigarettes and out-door dining with the backdrop of Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

The Quilt, has been made by Tane, Peterís partner, and members of Peterís family as well as some very close friends from New Zealand and England. Peter died of AIDS related conditions on 17 November 1993, after being nursed by his family at home.

As a family we met many of Peterís gay friends and still keep in touch with many of them. He was a bright intelligent young man, greatly loved and sadly missed. He was aged 29 when he left us for his next great adventure.

Joan Cockburn
Peterís Mother.

 

Also from the stories folder that accompanies The Quilt to displays

The following was compiled over a few days with contributions by those who loved him, as read at his funeral by Jude:

 

ďAs we drove here today Peterís words came to me clearly
- Ďooh, itís a bit of a doí ď.

 

Peter was a connoisseur of life and enjoyed living it to the full. He enjoyed people, partying and was forever telling us to Ďlighten upí. He loved music and to him it wasnít loud enough unless it pounded throughout the house.

 

As soon as he could afford to he took off for England and beyond. Peter made an intrepid traveller - the more exotic the country the better. He would return with stories - few of which can be repeated here - of hair raising adventures from some of the wildest places that he had checked out.

 

After a four year stint abroad Peter returned to New Zealand, but not to take on a slower pace of life. He enjoyed the buzz of Auckland, few restaurants were left untried, few night clubs left unexplored. Peter kept his artistic flair quiet, but no room was ever the same once his hand had been at work transforming it into a reflection of his personality.

He always had lots of great ideas. Most recently he developed a talent for landscape gardening. We were told in no uncertain terms that there was such a thing as garden planning!! He dreamt of getting into the Palmerís Garden Show so he and Tane transformed the garden into a riot of colour that would have done the TV show proud. They would while away the hours pottering in the green house to their heartís content, scheming how to replace yet another of mumís beloved daisy bushes! then relax in the hammock, Black Russian in hand, enjoying their handiwork.

 

Peter had a special way with people and he would make friends wherever he went. He was honest to boot and didnít mind telling you he didnít like what you were wearing.!! or that your taste was tragic! He of course had impeccable taste whether he was dressing up or down.

 

He loved to have us all on and had a great sense of humour. His easy going nature, together with his bravery and spirit were unflinching which made him the ideal patient. The devoted and loving care that Peter received from us all enabled him to spend his last days at home as was his wish. The courage Peter showed throughout his life inspired us. he was and will remain a true and everlasting friend who will be greatly missed.

 

Peter, we wish you peace for your journey. Our love goes with you always.

 

If you knew Peter 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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