The web site pays tribute to all of those on the 139 panels of the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt who came from all parts of NZ from the Far North to the Deep South.
“The web site was created as a permanent record of The Quilt and a way of remembering all those who have gone before their time because of HIV/AIDS” says Michael Bancroft – the current Guardian of the Quilt.
“It gives the family and friends who were left behind a way to add their own thoughts to those already expressed on the panels or to remember those who do not have a panel on The Quilt.”
The Quilt is a memorial to those who have died of HIV related illnesses and consists of 3 feet by 6 feet panels which are joined together in groups of eight to form blocks. Each fabric panel is lovingly created by family, friends, partners or co-workers and is as unique as the person it remembers and those who created it. Panels are created by an individual or a group and may be elaborate or simple, ornate or plain, often carrying the details of the person’s life.
In 2009 all of the panels were photographed by Gareth Watkins in preparation for the website in preparation for the website created by Kevin Jensen, a Life Member of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation who has been associated with The AIDS Quilt and displaying it since 1994.
The web site also includes a history of The (New Zealand) Quilt which began in 1988 and information on how to make a panel. All of the current panels can be viewed online or downloaded as a high-resolution image. Web site users can also add comments or create a new web-only memorial panel.
“The Quilt has become a valuable resource that helps encourage both compassion and personal response” says Michael. “By presenting the human face behind the statistics it creates an emotional response and provides an educational opportunity.”