When your principal Mr Siave asked me if I would come to this opening, I had only just been elected, so I said I would if I could.
It turns out that this is now my first official engagement as the Mayor of Christchurch. All my other engagements have been as Mayor elect.
But it is special for even more reasons than that. The east has been badly affected by the earthquakes and the loss of swimming facilities has been felt more keenly here than anywhere else, especially with QEII being demolished.
So for my first event to be the opening of these swimming pools, which will not only serve the school and the St Albans Swim Club, but also the community, could not be better.
The partnership that has been entered into between the school and the St Albans Swim Club, which will use the pool outside school hours, means the pool will be open on Saturdays with the Swim Club providing the lifeguards.
That is the sort of partnership our new council wants to encourage.
Like most New Zealanders my age, I learned to swim in a school swimming pool. For a country surrounded by the sea and filled with rivers and lakes,New Zealand should have the best water safety record in the world.
Unfortunately standards have been slipping and with an average of just over 100 people drowning each year in New Zealand, I can't help feeling that the problem begins with the lack of school swimming pools.
So getting these pools in place and making them accessible to the wider community is a fantastic step forward and should serve as a model for other developments.
Congratulations to the board of trustees and everyone for making this happen.
With the development of these pools, the school is ensuring that its pupils and the wider school community will have the opportunity to learn to swim – a skill that will not only ensure you can enjoy the water, but could also one day save your life.