Shane Austen Reid
This panel was made with a lot of love and emotion by several of his close friends, his cousin Tania, and his mum. It helped us individually as well as helping one another to deal with our grief.
We wanted his panel to represent a picture of his life, so we divided it into two sections. The first one representing him as a lover of sunlight, his childhood and love of the beach and sea, his favourite Pohutukawa flower and tree (to represent his Maori heritage of which he was very proud and Christmas, his favourite time of year), and his cat, Mercedes.
The second half represents his love of dancing and night life. The ‘moon’ is also a mirror ball and Shane dances under its light. The figure/logo represents Shane’s favourite gay night club where he shared many fun times with friends dancing the night away. The cap was a standard item of attire for Shane.
The ‘day and night’ which also helps to illustrate that Shane had two lives he lived at the same time. Particularly whilst in the Air Force and coming to terms with his sexuality. In many ways his family life and friends were separate as well, for he was different things to different people.
Shane was a lover of style and quality things so first off our panel had to represent that or Shane would never forgive us. We surrounded the two sections with a frame, like a large picture frame as though it were a portrait reminiscent of the great portraits of ancestors hanging in the halls of the great houses of Europe which Shane would have adored. After all, our panel is a portrait of his life and our love. We filled it with all the things that he loved and were special to him.
We chose the two different blues to represent his Air Force career and put his Corporal stripes and hat badges at the top. At the four corners of the frame are the Air Force emblems, representing the four air bases Shane was stationed at. This all helps to emphasize important the Air Force was in shaping a large part of Shane’s life.
Around the border of the Quilt detailing represents things that Shane loved that were essential elements when thinking about him:
music – extremely important to him – his favourite composers, singers, performers
cars – a car fanatic – some of his favourite makes
activities – always a very active person – his love of cricket and skiing
labels – very fashion conscious – some of the designers he appreciated.
Shane was a proud New Zealander so we represented this by the Southern Cross.
The words down the centre of the panel are quoted from an excerpt of a death notice in the paper from one of Shane’s friends.
Shane’s name and date of birth and death are surrounded by gold stitching because of the golden person Shane was and our friendship was worth gold. The small pearl beads are there because of Shane’s taste for nice things. The sequins are from Amanda’s leotard as her small token.
Shane had so much life, energy, laughter and vitality. It is important that his panel is sewn together with the others, out there traveling about the country or indeed the planet, being seen and shared by so many people, young and old. Shane will never really be alone. He loved company always.
The one important ingredient that is essentially Shane is laughter. But how could you put that in a picture?
Shane was such a special person, who gave so much and took so little. He was everybody’s friend. How we miss him still.
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