Here comes the bride, for the last time

Erskine College gets one last wedding

KERRY MCBRIDE
Last updated 10:16 14/04/2012
Erskine College
PHIL REID/FAIRFAX NZ

LUCKY LAST: Brady McCartan and Tara Rona are the last couple to be married at Erskine Chapel, which is to close due to the earthquake risk.

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When Tara Rona and her fiance Brady McCartan decided that Erskine College was the perfect place to get married, they had no idea they would be the last ones to skip down the aisle.

The couple will be tying the knot in the chapel of the earthquake-prone building today – two days before it is declared unsafe to occupy.

Wellington City Council will be red-stickering Erskine College on Monday after the property's owners The Wellington Company could not bring the category one historic building up to a safe standard.

The level of earthquake strengthening required in the main building and chapel has been estimated to cost millions of dollars.

For Ms Rona, 25, being the last couple to get married there will give her wedding day an extra level of importance.

"Knowing we're the last ones is a funny feeling. I was just so glad when I found out that we'd be able to go ahead with things here, because it truly is an incredible place."

The couple booked Erskine for their wedding about a year ago, and were contacted when the building was orange-stickered to tell them of the earthquake risks.

But Ms Rona was relieved to find out they had "just snuck in" before the closure date and would not have to reschedule.

"I was just glad I didn't have to start the venue hunt all over again."

Property manager for The Wellington Company, Murray Anderson, said there had not been any further discussions with the council on options for saving or redeveloping the site, but they were hoping to make progress in the next few weeks.

Discussions with the Save Erskine Trust, which acts as the building's heritage protection authority, were off the table as the trustees were not engaging with any suggested proposals, Mr Anderson said. "The trust need to become part of the solution instead of part of the problem. When they begin to do that is when we'll start talking to them."

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- The Dominion Post

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