Event Centre Opening Celebration
Friday, July 1
Originally scheduled for 20 August 2021, plans for the Centre's Grand Opening were snaffled when New Zealand went into lockdown just two days prior. Thankfully we had held a special blessing the week before, and once lockdown ended, the Centre was used for a range of end-of-year activities. Dame Patsy Reddy stepped down as Governor-General, but we were still keen to host her at the Centre – after all, her name is on the plaque in the foyer! She agreed to come in a private capacity in June, and the ball was once again rolling to organise a Celebration, rather than a Grand Opening.
The guest list included Board members, Ministry of Education representatives, key community leaders, donors to the school, staff, alumni, students and a myriad of people involved with the design and building of the Event Centre. Our invited alumni included co-ed founders, founders from the single-sex school in 1962, and honoured alumni – Denese Henare ONZM and Fay Freeman ONZM. After the welcome to the official party there was an hour of celebration with performances by the Kapa Haka, Cantare choir and the Westlake Symphony Orchestra.
Several speeches highlighted the long journey to reach the day's celebrations. Dame Patsy and Jane Stanley then unveiled the plaque, cut the cake and officially declared the Centre open. The Centre is already well used by the school and community. Westlake events there include the Westlake Variety Show, Dance Showcase, and Gala Concert and it's been great to see alumni along to those events.
You can view all the photos in the album in the Photos section.