By now the citizens of New Zealand will know of the passing of Dame Catherine Tizard, former Mayor of Auckland City and Governor General of New Zealand.
Dame Cath was a Founding Patron of the New Zealand Opera School and attended here in Whanganui a number of times. She was also a life-time Patron of New Zealand Opera and charmingly, always called it Opera New Zealand.
Cath loved the opera and seldom if ever missed a performance, if not on opening night then at a later date. In the years of her Mayoralty she was a great supporter of Perkel Opera a forerunner of what we now have, when all our profits from the Perkel Opera performances (yes we did have profits) were donated to the Aotea Fundraising programme. It was through Cath and Sir Lewis Ross the Chair of the Fund raising programme that a large dressing room in the Aotea Centre is named after Perkel. A charismatic, no-nonsense and fun person to be with., Cath will be greatly missed. Your earthy work is done Cath, rest in peace. Flowers from the New Zealand Opera School have been sent to the Tizard family first thing this morning.