"Far and away my most memorable time was at Te Māori - Te Hokinga Mai. My friend and colleague at the Auckland Teachers College Wally Penetito arranged for a contingent of us to be involved – it was marvellous, moving, magnificent. Those truly remarkable taonga - it made the hair stand up on the back of your neck.
"It was a landmark for Māori and Pakeha - we were all so proud. It changed people’s thinking. We all took our students (the trainee teachers) through and many went more than once. I know I did.
"Often you would see Māori speaking to their tupuna/ancestors. A window was opened to another world that was right here in our own country – it was like glimpsing a parallel universe."
Visitors explore the Te Māori exhibition
"There is no greater pleasure than a walk around the Auckland Art Gallery and then a discussion of what you've viewed over coffee in the cafe. My memories of Grahame Sydney's exhibition (On the Road: Paintings by Grahame Sydney, 2001) and the memories this raised from my South Island soul will live forever in my memory."
Susan F. Stevenson (nee Graham)
Installation view of On the Road: Paintings by Grahame Sydney
"I will always remember Friends functions where lovely food was served. We always had to dodge a certain gentleman who would always be there and eat himself silly. This was supposed to be a 'finger buffet' but he ate the equivalent of a three course meal!"
Buffet table at a Friends event, 2005 - please the gentleman depicted is NOT the one mentioned in the above anecdote!
Thank you to the Friends who contributed these stories - feel free to share your own in the comments!