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Hero image for Michael Fowler Centre Opening - A Festival Concert

Michael Fowler Centre Opening - A Festival Concert

Television (Full Length) – 1983

Now to something from a totally different century, from the Russian composer Tchaikovsky. Pyotr Tchaikovsky started out his working life as a public servant, so it's kind of appropriate that we're about to play a piece of his music here in Wellington. In fact who knows Tchaichovsky — I mean it could be that this might be the first waltz ever composed on Glide Time.
– Presenter Bob Parker jokes about Wellington's workforce
It must be a very proud moment for Sir Michael — this is very much his baby.
– Presenter Philip Alpers on Sir Michael Fowler escorting the Duke and Duchess of Wellington into the new concert and conference venue
During his world tour, Fowler had managed to talk the 8th Duke of Wellington into opening his dream. When it became clear how dodgy the project had been, the duke pulled out, despite Danish platemakers having already made 500 commemorative plates saying “Wellington Hall, New Zealand, opened by his Grace the Duke of Wellington”. In the end, the duke relented and attended the opening.
– Writer Nicholas Boyack in an obituary of Sir Michael Fowler, Stuff, 13 July 2022
[Fowler] isn't an arrogant person but, when elected, he said the city needed this building and he was going to build it. The petitioners, the letter-writers and the nitpickers had a ball, but Sir Michael raised the money and had the centre built. He has shown that the solitary spirit is a powerful force. In a country where egalitarianism has meant the different are cut down, he has remained colourful, outspoken and at times infuriating.
– A September 1983 editorial in Wellington newspaper The Evening Post, quoted in Stuff, 13 July 2022