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Desperately seeking Peter
It’s been nearly 30 years since 80-year-old Surry Hills resident and great-grandmother Irihia last heard from her nephew Peter Bidois.
She is hoping the Sydney LGBTI community may be able to help in her search for information about his whereabouts and life in gay Sydney during the late ’70s and early ’80s.
Bidois, nicknamed Pierre, was raised by his grandfather and fled a homophobic childhood in his native New Zealand to arrive in Sydney around 1972. Today he would be in his late 50s.
Irihia described Bidois as gentle and “a talented and flamboyant man of 6’3”.
A professional dancer, she said dancing was his life and he had performed before royalty in New Zealand.
After arriving in Sydney, Bidois joined the Sydney Dance Company where Irihia said he was well-liked while enjoying an active lifestyle that revolved heavily around the Sydney gay community.
While living in Sydney, Bidois would occasionally speak by phone with Irihia, who was still in New Zealand, working as a school teacher and cabaret performer.
Communication broke down around 1981 and she has not seen or heard from him since.
Over the years Irihia had heard of apparent sightings of Bidois from people including from one person who said he appeared to be unwell. However, nothing eventuated.
Irihia acknowledged that Bidois may have been lost to the 1980s AIDS epidemic, but she holds out hope that he may still be alive.
“Subconsciously I know he may be gone, but I am frustrated and want to be able to put it to rest before I am too old to do so,” she said.
Anyone with information about Peter/Pierre Bidois’ life, including photos, is encouraged to contact the Sydney Star Observer at email@example.com