At noon, on Saturday 2 June 2012, the official opening of Frazer Johnston's New Ziggurat took place in Stokesley.
The event started with a bellringer (Eric Lee), calling the large crowd to attention. Linda Purnell, the Chair of SPIOTA, performed the official opening, in which she thanked the SPIOTA committee and volunteers for their hard work in bringing in the funding, and for practical work in preparing planting and assembling the Ziggurat. She also thanked Paul Nymeyer from Rainbow Nurseries for his advice and assistance in getting the planting right, and thanked George Carter for bringing sponsors to the table.
George Carter presented Linda Purnell with a scroll documenting the transfer of ownership of the Ziggurat to SPIOTA. The ceremony was performed in front of Henry Cowles's Thermometer which had been used to chart the progress of the collection of funds for the project.
Meanwhile, the crowd wondered where the fizz and canapes were!
These photographs were mainly taken by David Wright from the Stokesley Photographic Society - one was contributed by Charles Stuart.
Letter from a Lady in Waiting of Queen Elizabeth.
As an addendum to the celebration, SPIOTA subsequently received a letter from a Lady in Waiting of Queen Elizabeth. The full letter reads:
"The Queen wishes me to write and thank you for your letter in which you tell Her Majesty about the Ziggurat, created by Fazer Johnson on behalf of the Stokesley Pride in our Town Association, to commemorate the occasion of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Her Majesty was pleased to see the splendid photographs you enclosed and greatly appreciated your kind thought in sending these to her.
The Queen sends her best wishes to everyone involved with the creation of the Ziggurat and I am to thank you again for your message of good wishes to Her Majesty in this, her Diamond Jubilee year."
Click on the picture to see the letter in full.