I wanted to say a few words in my representative capacity to express my gratitude to everyone who has worked over the past few decades to ensure that this theatre was not lost to man-made or natural devastation.
On this occasion, I want to record the names of Malcolm Douglas, Stephen Erber, Malcolm Ott, Colin Robertson, David Stock, Sir Miles Warren and Noel Wesney who were the bedrock of what we see today.
And of course the work in refurbishing and strengthening the theatre in 2004-05 prevented the total devastation that would otherwise have occurred in 2011.
Others will record the specific contributions of those who have been involved in this project – or labour of love as I heard one of the contractors describe it – and of course the theatre itself will by its name forever record the significance of Lady Isaac's contribution, as will the Ravenscar Dress Circle Foyer record the generosity of the Wakefields.
All I want to do is to say thank you as Mayor on behalf of the people of Christchurch – both present and future.
Thank you for the quality of the work that preserves the best of what was built more than 100 years ago and establishes a new legacy that will draw people back into the heart of our city.
I remember coming here as a child and looking up at the painted dome for the first time. I can't recall the actual event – although I do remember the Mayor speaking on that occasion.
More than 40 years later – I stand here as Mayor of Christchurch to welcome back the Isaac Theatre Royal in all its glory – and to express the heartfelt gratitude of the people of Christchurch to every single contributor to this labour of love.