Solemnity marks a year of calamities

Thousands of men, women and children gathered at the Hagley Park in Christchurch on February 22 to mark the first anniversary of the Earthquake that rattled the City, plunging the nation in grief.

The Army band played throughout, indicating human life continues, despite tragedies.

As Bishop Barry Jones called for two minutes’ silence, people bowed their heads at the surety of the unavoidable death, thinking about the darkest hour that changed their lives a year ago so dramatically. Among the dignitaries were Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae, Prime Minister John Key, ministers, Opposition Leader David Shearer, Mayor Bob Parker, diplomats and MPs.

Flowers were placed around the City where people perished.

Cantabrians have had enough; 3000 quakes above Richter scale 3, many major quakes above 5.5 and 10,000 aftershocks. The emotional toll on this city is huge; testing the resilience, courage and optimism of Cantabrians to its highest magnitude.

Dr George Abraham is our Correspondent based in Christchurch. A detailed report with pictures will appear in our next issue.

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