This is a post I’ve been looking forward to for a few months now.
Auckland has been great to the Bhatnagar family since we arrived from Canada in 1980.
We’ve prospered in business over two generations, been heavily involved in both political and social circles, and now we are the happy position of giving back to great causes with philanthropy.
On December 11 1997, Mara and I had our first date at the Auckland Art Gallery.
We continued the tradition of art gallery visits, and on December 11 2004, Mara and I hosted our wedding reception in what is now the old wing of the Auckland Art Gallery.
As an Auckland City Councillor between 2007-2010, I was a strong supporter of the Auckland Art Gallery’s modernising and enlarging.
Which brings us to today: December 11, 2019.
Today, Mara and I are celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary by announcing our joining the Auckland Art Gallery Foundation as “Governors”. We have committed to a substantial philanthropic contribution to the Gallery, and have also joined our three boys up as “members”, perhaps in the hope that the Art Gallery might make a nice place for them to hang out with girlfriends in future years. Our names have gone up on the wall in great company with other generous Aucklanders.
While we love to give to Auckland related causes, the Auckland Art Gallery is an especially sentimental choice for us given its strong connection to the starting of our own family, and our own interests in collecting art.
If you haven’t been to Te Toi O Tamaki lately, get there - you will love this jewel in Auckland’s crown. The current Colin McCahon exhibition "A Place to Paint" (curated by Ron Brownson) runs to the 20th of January next year, and is unmissable for Aucklanders.