Dunedin's best-kept secret is out.
The unveiling yesterday of a stained glass window inside St
Paul's Cathedral revealed Dame Kiri Te Kanawa as St Cecilia,
the patron saint of music.
She features prominently in the four-paneled artwork
commissioned by Company Bay residents Dr Stella and Dr Donald
Maia stained glass artist Peter Mackenzie spent two years
researching and creating the window, during which he was
sworn to secrecy about its famous character.
Mr Mackenzie said Dame Kiri was the perfect choice for St
The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
consciously embraced a mix of cultures, which the Cullingtons
wanted to reflect in the window.
Dame Kiri embodied that cultural blend, was a well-known New
Zealander and a "magnificent and revered" singer, Mr
She had also sung at St Paul's Cathedral and loved the
acoustics created by its unique stone vaulted ceiling, he
"She sounds like heaven in there."
He had to obtain permission from the internationally-based
artist to use her image.
Also immortalised in the work was the Anglican Diocese of
Dunedin's Bishop, the Rt Rev Dr Kelvin Wright, as St Paul.
Bishop Wright yesterday consecrated the window during an
evening ceremony inside the cathedral, which was previously
without an image of its namesake.
The Cullingtons' grandchildren Benji (6) and Gemma (4)
Pickering appeared as instrument-playing cherubs in the
window, which also portrayed early Dunedin settler John
"Johnny" Jones, who gave the land on which the cathedral was
Te Rauparaha's son, Tamihana, and Tame Parata also featured
for their involvement in bringing Christianity to Otago.
The cost of the window was not disclosed.
Dr Cullington, originally from the United Kingdom, was the
director of music at St Paul's for four years in the 1970s.
He and his wife, a retired general practitioner, fell in love
with Dunedin and have lived in Company Bay since 2003.
Their window showcased the beauty of Dunedin's landscape as
well as its flora and fauna.
It comprised several thousand pieces of custom French glass
and told the history of Otago while incorporating Maori and