Following the opening ceremony, principal Jane Wells, reflects on the day and its’ significance for BLENNZ and shares some of the memorable images captured by BLENNZ staff.
To view the video below with its’ interactive transcript, please visit our BLENNZ Video Library on YouTube. There is also a full transcript below the video on this page.
Here are some reflections on the day from principal Jane Wells.[interviewer] So how’s your day Jane? [Jane] Well it’s been a wonderful, wonderful ceremony. I think everyone has thoroughly enjoyed it. And it’s been an opportunity to bring everyone together from our BLENNZ organisation but also everyone involved in blindness education around the country outside BLENNZ both now and historically.
So I was absolutely thrilled that a previous principal Bruce Gibbs could come. He was like a mentor for me and he was here with me in the 80’s.
I think the minister did a wonderful job in the whole ceremony. She was very grounded and just made everybody feel very comfortable. And of course the kaumātua were fantastic, as of course they advised us on the whole structure of the ceremony; what was important, how we should do it. And they were quietly there in support as are Ngāti Kāpo, who have been extremely supportive of me.
So it’s all just clicked in. And of course all the staff that have dealt with the logistics; the thousand chairs that had to be in the right positions, all the rest of it, and the microphone and the plaque on the tripod.
It’s all come together beautifully as it does with BLENNZ. I think we’re quite good at organising things. But it is just a very special day.
Really it is the beginning of a new era. We can settle done now and I think as Ross said, we can get on now with thinking ahead. Now we have got everything in place and a platform now to move forward. So yes a really important day.
It was a great honor to have Gwen Nagel’s husband and three of her sons and her grand daughter here, Nikita. We invited them because we wanted to remember Gwen in our speeches and to honour her achievements. She was so much part of the journey that got us to this place today and I think the family were really pleased to be here and quite moved and quite a special day for them.