SimonThwaites

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Summary: [[AIDSVigilChoir|Gay Men's Choir]]

Changed:

< Enjoyed the fun of being part of the GayMensChoir which met in Rumours during the early 90’s.

to

> Enjoyed the fun of being part of the [[AIDSVigilChoir|Gay Men's Choir]] which met in Rumours during the early 90’s.


Simon Thwaites was born In Portsmouth, England 1962. At the age of 13, his family immigrated to Canada. He now resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In 1980 joined the Canadian Navy and travelled the world for about 10 years. He gained initial notoriety in the early 1990s as the sailor who was discharged from the Navy for being HIV-positive. Simon fought the discharge in a human rights case on discrimination in the workplace based on disability, which was decided in his favour in 1994. The case set the precedent in law in Canada and a huge step forward in how employers have to accommodate there employee's.

Was a member of Gala when it operated out of Rumours on Gottingen St until the great T-shirt debate between men and women happened (1991?)

Enjoyed the fun of being part of the Gay Men's Choir which met in Rumours during the early 90’s.

As a long time HIV+/AIDS activist Simon has been involved since the beginning in Nova Scotia’s history with grappling with the disease. The following is brief history and Simon’s involvement with this battle:

pic1980

1982
AIDS becomes known in Nova Scotia.
1984
Simon becomes HIV+ (gets AIDS)
Joined [[MACAIDS?]] (Metro Area Community on AIDS) The first AIDS group in NS.
Back in the early 80's you were given 3 years life expectancy. Out of the original 27 who met at the VG hospital only one is still living.
Started taking AZT as an experimental drug It was first drug offered. A large portion of patients died from toxic effects of AZT.
1987
FDA approves AZT drug.
1987 friends with Eric Smith the school teacher fired for being HIV+.
MACAIDS evolved into AIDS Nova Scotia and he became a member.
Persons with AIDS Coalition formed because people with HIV were being marginalized and there was a need for a voice for those who had AIDS. Was an unpublished co-founder because of the pending military case.
When a house was created in Halifax so people with AIDS could die in dignity and that first person Michael chose to – Volunteered and did Palliative Care.
Friends with JanetConnors? (she battle for her family’s rights and the Krevor Enquiry)
Part of the merger team when the two AIDS groups merged together into what we know as ACNS.
1994 : the law in Canada changed because of Simons lawsuit - you could no longer discriminate against someone being HIV+ in the workplace.
late '90s
lived in the Annapolis Valley and was part of the rural “Valley AIDS Concern Group”.

Most would think that’s it but Simon has over the years has walked his own path. Constantly volunteering with AIDS organizations and being there for people as they died doing Palliative care, surviving the horrendous early years of AIDS had a profound effect on ones view of the world.

In 2009 after six years of study he became an openly gay-minister as a Reverend of the Spiritualist Church. With the help of his friend started up a new church called Angel Hall which welcomes all.

In his free time Simon recently has launched an art career and in 2010 finally has a web site depicting his work for others to view. http://www.brightlantern.ca

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