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Saturday 11 April 2015

Keller's life to be celebrated on Saturday

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 9th April 2015

Vern Keller will be farewelled in Henderson on Saturday.
A service to commemorate the life of longtime New Zealand AIDS Foundation librarian Vern Keller will take place in Auckland this Saturday.

Keller died suddenly at home over the weekend.

He’d been the NZAF’s librarian for 24 years.

Colleague and friend Tony Hughes, who is the NZAF’s Scientific Director, says Keller was committed to his work and the people he served, both inside and outside the organisation.

"I’m devastated by Vern’s loss. He was a lovely man and a great colleague. He was also one hundred percent committed to improving the health of his gay brothers, but always preferred a background role in the organisation,” Hughes says.

"We worked very closely together for over 24 years at NZAF and, in that time, Vern built up a remarkable amount of knowledge about the HIV epidemic in gay men, as well as being primarily responsible for our excellent AIDS library.

"Vern was one of NZAF’s longest serving staff members and he will be greatly missed by all of us in the organisation. The void that he leaves will be very hard to fill."

Dr Peter Saxton from the Gay Men's Sexual Health research group says he and his colleagues are deeply saddened by Keller’s sudden death.

“For over 20 years Vern ran NZAF’s superb collection on HIV, sexuality and human rights. Vern was a constant, quiet friend whose experience, care and sleuth-like searching improved everyone’s research. He also oversaw a beautiful space in which to learn, reflect and debate our work. He will be hugely missed.”

A service to commemorate Vern Keller’s life will take place at Davis Funerals, 150 Central Park Drive Henderson, Saturday 11 April 2015 from 1.30pm. It will be followed by a private cremation.

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