They are precious to me because this is where I celebrated my wedding 15½ years ago.
But today is not about my relationship with this place; it’s about the city’s relationship with the Arts Centre as a whole.
I know how much the community has been looking forward to being welcomed back here and this weekend will be their chance to come and re-engage with this special place.
I am so lucky being able to watch progress from the Council building and I tell all our international visitors the story of the mini United Nations that has relished this wonderful opportunity to lovingly restore our heritage.
And it is a significant part of our heritage. But each of us has their own experience – sitting exams, attending ceremonies, lectures and recitals – the memories will flood back as people flood through the doors this weekend.
Thank you to all those who have been involved – no matter whether you are a fundraiser, a stone mason, a builder, a labourer, a trustee, an administrator, an engineer – each of you has the privilege of being able to say I helped restore the Arts Centre of Christchurch and the gratitude of this city will be yours to keep forever.
You have done a stunning job and each of you can be proud.
This is a great day and a wonderful milestone, not just for the Arts Centre, but for the city.