Everyone in Wellington loves our Town Hall. I certainly do and have done so since I first saw it more years ago than I like to admit. The Town Hall has played a huge part in my life.
I became a Wellington City Councillor there in 1989, became Deputy Mayor in 1995, and was Mayor from 2001 to 2010. Two years later they closed the poor old lady as she was deemed an earthquake risk much to my dismay, both personally and as Executive Chair of the NZ Festival.
I’ve had some marvellous times in that building. Every day for all those years I’ve sat in meetings, debated many local issues, and made important decisions—and a few trivial ones too, I must admit. The Town Hall is not just one of the world’s finest music venues in terms of its acoustics, it also houses great meeting facilities.
But the best time I’ve spent in the Town Hall was our wedding. In 1999 my predecessor as Mayor, Mark Blumsky, married Rex, who spent 12 years there as a Councillor, and me there. He did so, with about 70 of our friends and family in attendance, in the Mayoral Chamber. We followed this with a Wedding Breakfast in the Council Chamber, catered by our friends Ruth and Paul Pretty. The guest list including many political friends and there were heaps of entertaining speeches; so much so that the quartet we had arranged didn’t get to play a chord!
Kerry Prendergast CNZM
Chair of the Fundraising Campaign for the national music centre