Arthur Robert Tauhore
We have the following excerpts from an obituary written for Arthur by Anne Hogan:
To hundreds of people he was known simply as Arthur – a flamboyant, beautiful boy who made his mark on the Wellington scene for more than 15 years as a hairdresser, drag artist, singer, committed party animal and lover of life.
HIV positive for 10 years, Arthur succumbed to AIDS at home…on Sunday, November 28. He was 35. As usual, his timing was impeccable. It was the night of the gay dance party Devotion. His funeral was held on December 1st – World AIDS Day.
… Although he was ill off and on for a year, Arthur did manage to perform at last year’s Devotion party with his usual panache.
His early life was not so much fun but still full of drama.
His father, a Ngati Porou, brought up the five children at Titahi Bay after their mother left. At eight, Arthur was made a ward of the State and spent time in and out of several boys’ homes. At 16, he was expelled from Mana College for dealing drugs. The same year he entered into his first homosexual relationship. He mixed with Black Power, frequented the infamous Bistro Bar and injected heroin, a habit he gave up after the price went up and a boyfriend died from an overdose.
Fifteen years ago, Arthur took up hairdressing, an occupation of which he said: “I love it. For one thing, you have clean nails at the end of the day.”
He sang in bands including Urban Dwellers and Trash and, with three friends, toured the country in a drag show called Bertha and the Transisters.
A friend, Andre, summed up his life in the death notices with the following eulogy: “With a laugh as wicked and wild as the stories you told. Never be afraid to be yourself. Your spirit and soul will always be here.”
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