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Motueka's grand piano a Goodman donation

November 1st, 2017
[by David Armstrong]

The full story behind the grand piano which is now used in Motueka's Memorial Hall has been revealed following the death of the donor, Sir Pat Goodman.

The enormous piano arrived without fanfare at Memorial Hall one year ago and has been used for several musical and concert events since then.

Last Sunday it was played with great gusto by Motueka musical prodigy Louis Lucas-Perry at the Motueka Volunteers Celebration event, and after the performance Mark Wentworth told the audience about how the prestigious instrument came to arrive.

It was one of several full grand pianos which had to be taken from Christchurch after the 2011 earthquake, having previously been owned by Christ College for a little over 100 years.

It was brought to Nelson, where it sat in a storage condition until it was commissioned to be used at the Theatre Royal for two years, Mark explained.

"Then the opportunity came about for us to acquire it locally. Over time the venues in Christchurch either brought back their instruments as they were repaired and/or replaced, or insurances dealt with individual cases.

"This Piano was offered for sale through a local agent. and funding was sought. Sir Pat Goodman had given funds for purposes of the improvement of the Motueka Hall project and other improvements, and this was one of those improvements he sought to do without recognition over time."

He said Sir Pat never wanted while he was alive to be known for his generosity in many projects to the community, as many local people know.

"He was a low-key benefactor to many projects, and the Memorial Hall was one of those such projects. I took him there on a couple of occasions to show him what we had done and from the initial look to a few years later he was always saying, what else can I do to help the cause, and he always came to the party."

So Sir Pat came up with the money required. Mark said that to replace such a full size concert grand of that calibre would cost over $200,000, and a community like ours probably could not do it or warrant such an expense.

"We are lucky to have this instrument for big concerts and musical events where a large piano is required for full orchestral sound."

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