The New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt’s lodgement with Te Papa

Over the years, consideration was being given to the future of The Quilt bearing in mind such things as storage, funding, and most importantly, the maintaining of the condition of the Panels and Blocks themselves which were starting to show the signs of general wear and tear from the travel they have done and the associated displays.

The planning of the future of The Quilt gained in momentum during 2008/2009 ending up with the creation of this web site in 2010. After considerable consultation with as many loved ones and families of those remembered, HIV/AIDS community sectors, the gay community and as many others that had an interest with The Quilt that could be contacted, negotiations were held in ernest with Te Papa Tongarewa, the Museum of New Zealand in Wellington (usually known as Te Papa).

On Sunday 29 April 2012, The Quilt was formally farewelled from Auckland, its home base since its initial creation, and handed over to staff from Te Papa.

The following Thursday, 3 May 2012, at a ceremony on the museum’s own marae, in Wellington, The Quilt was formally welcomed to Te Papa and accepted by the museum to become one of the Treasures of New Zealand which it looks after.

Special thanks go to Michael Bancroft, the Guardian of The Quilt, and his supporters, for the many hours of work put in to consulting with as many as possible to decide the future of The Quilt and all his negotiations etc. with Te Papa coming to the successful conclusion that has been reached.

Gifting Ceremony, Auckland, 29 April 2012

The Quilt had been based in Auckland since it was started in 1991. 21 years later, it was to go to Te Papa Tongarewa, the Museum of New Zealand, in Wellington so to farewell it from Auckland, there was a special service in St. Matthew-in-the-city church on the afternoon of Sunday, 29 April 2012. Over 200 people attended.

For logistical reasons, two blocks only were at the ceremony representig the whole Quilt.

The ceremony started with a Powhiri (a special welcome in Maori), and a reply and welcome by Michael Bancroft, the Guardian of The Quilt.

Michael then gave a brief history of The Quilt and an explanation of the gifting of The Quilt to Te Papa.

Two of the early Convenors of The Quilt, Nicki Eddy and Jean Stewart then handed the Deed of Gift to Dame Claudia Orange, the Director of the Collections and Research Group of Te Papa Tongarewa.

Dame Claudia then replied, accepting The Quilt as one of the Treasures of New Zealand to be cared for by Te Papa.

After a time for those present to walk among the quilts for the last time in Auckland, Dame Catherine Tizard, who was present at the first Unfolding of The Quilt in her position as Governor General of New Zealand, addressed those present as Patron of The Quilt.

During a final Maori Karakia (prayer) and the singing of the Hymn How Great Thou Art (in Maori), the two Blocks were folded and handed over to the representatives present from Te Papa

The service finished with the singing of the National Anthem, God Defend New Zealand.

During the service, there were also interludes where GALS (the Gay and Lesbian Singers) sang.

An audio recording of the service (just over 56 minutes) can be heard on the Audio History page, linked at the top left of this page.

Arrival at Te Papa, Wellington, 3 May 2012

Special thanks to Gareth Watkins and Kevin Jensen for allowing us to use their photos on this page; to St. Matthew-in-the-city for its hosting of the farewell service; and to Te Papa for allowing us to take photos on their marae and also for making staff available for photos and interviews.

Further photos of the Gifting Cermony in Auckland and other information on The Quilt and its history are also available on the Pride NZ web site.

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