A medly from a lone piper serenaded those gathered outside Oamaru’s newly refurbished Opera House before dawn.
As the music stopped, the large white curtain which cloaked the building fell:
We were led inside to find Waitaki Mp Jacqui Dean, Mayor Alex Familton, councillors, council staff, representatives from Ngai Tahu and a minister on the stairs facing us.
A blessing in Maori, a reply from the Mayor, a prayer and the combined singing of Whaakaria Mai followed then the voice of a soloist on the stage called us into the auditorium.
The mayor spoke briefly then a young ballet dancer, representing those who will perform in future, took the stage and commanded (yes, that was the word she chose) the Opera House open.
We were then invited to explore the building, and what a treasure it is.
We are fortunate that more that the people from a previous generation gave us this building and that there were enough in the current generation of councillors and supporters who were prepared to work hard to not just preserve but to restore and improve it for the future.
There’s a daylight photo of the outside here and I’ll post some interior shots later.