This occasion had all the usual ceremony which goes with a Mayor and Mayoress hosting an event in the Mayoral Chambers.
But something set this event apart - it seemed like part celebration, part remembrance, though that word seemed out of place. Through it ran a thread of sadness and perhaps, of uneasy anticipation.
It was the Alzheimer's Foundation fund-raising 'cuppa' and many of the city's worthies were there for the event. In other cities up and down the country other Mayors and community groups were also hosting their own 'cuppa' as part of the Foundation's Annual Appeal Week. And so we raised our cups - though listening to the figures it wasn't hard to see why we should be down in them.
General Manager of the Foundation in Auckland, Sue Brewster had already made her aims for the week clear: The first was to raise money towards expanding its advisory service; to provide more support groups, more Carer Education courses; more socialisation for the person with dementia; timely responses to the hundreds of calls the Society received from people who needed guidance, information and advice. Second, she wanted to increase overall awareness of dementia and gain public understanding of the disease. It seemed as if an epidemic was about to hit the population - or part of it - and then in her speech, she used that very word.
"Over 32,000 people suffer from a type of dementia in New Zealand and this figure is predicted to double over the next 15-20 years, she said.
To date, the disease remains incurable, understated and in most cases under-funded. Events like today contribute to our priority of building awareness in the community and I cannot thank you enough for being here.
"And where are we today?" she asked. "Well, sadly with aging populations and people living longer, the incidence of dementia is predicted to reach epidemic proportions and already we are experiencing escalating demand".
To meet the demand, Alzheimer's Auckland has expanded and over the past two years, doubled its services. In the next two, it plans to double them again.
Stalin once said that a million deaths is a statistic, one a tragedy. Alzheimer's - once dubbed the long goodbye - is a death of sorts. That became clear when TV3 weathercaster Mike Hall told the audience how it had affected his mother who was in her early sixties.
It wasn't just forgetfulness as some people thought - though that seemed cruel enough. His mum could no longer read, understand television or resort to her favourite pastime - knitting.
He compared it with the early detection of cancer. In that case the person could still stay connected to family and the community. None of that was possible with Alzheimer's.
After the speeches, I chatted with an Alzheimer's researcher and told him about my neighbour. She worries about developing the disease. For her puzzles are a modern day charm which might help ward off the condition. "Best thing she could do - any of us could do" he said. Anybody for Brain teasers? Sudoku? Now!