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Chinese Earthquake Relief and Memorial Service

20 May 2008
To the Chief Reporter/News Editor

Media release
For immediate release

Chinese Earthquake Relief and Memorial Service in Cathedral Square, Christchurch

A memorial service and fundraising event for those affected by the recent earthquake in China will be held in Cathedral Square on Saturday May 24 2008.

The event is being organized by members of Chinese community groups in Christchurch.

The memorial service and fundraising event will commemorate those who died in the earthquake in Sichuan, China on May 12. More than 30,000 people have died and another five million, a number exceeding New Zealand’s total population, were made homeless by the 7.9 earthquake which shook the mountainous western province of Sichuan.

“The devastation caused by the earthquake has deeply influenced everyone of Chinese community in Chirstchurch,” says Ms. Mae Dawson on behalf of the organizing committee. “We feel really grieved when looking at the increasing number of mortalities and the disaster area. We were really touched when we saw so many soldiers and volunteers disregarding their own safety saving trapped people! We were really touched when we saw the confidence in people’s eyes! We were moved when we saw them helping each other selflessly! We urge that New Zealanders make donations to people who suffered in the earthquake to help those affected people to overcome this massive disaster!”

The event begins at 10.30 am with speeches by city dignitaries, MPs and representatives of the Chinese communities. Video footage and stills will be shown on screens in the Square throughout the day and Christchurch people will be urged to donate towards earthquake relief.

Dr. Yemin Clark Xu, another organizer, says that the event will show that Christchurch cares about China. “In order to help the children who lost their parents and those parents who lost their children in this rare huge catastrophe, in order to rebuild the villages and homes destroyed in the earthquake, in order to show the passion and support from the mainstream society and local Chinese communities, we must organize this important event”

Organiser Qiangfu Jin asks people to offer support and help unconditionally. “This earthquake has been recently upgraded to 8.0 on the Richter Scale, one of the worst in living memory. This is a catastrophe for mankind. We should care for each other as brother and sister regardless of race and beyond national boundaries. Although we live in the southern hemisphere, our hearts are connected with the people who are suffering. We are urging all kinds of support to fight against this unprecedented massive human disaster.”

A memorial candelighting service is planned for the evening from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

If the weather is bad i.e. heavy rain, the event will be held in the Cathedral between 10-11.30am on the same day.

ENDS

The Organising Committee on behalf of the following Community Groups and Organisations:

1. Christchurch Zhonghua Chinese Society
2. One China Association of New Zealand
3. Rewi Alley Education & Cultural Centre / Rewi Alley Chinese School
4. Christchurch Guangdong Association
5. Christchurch Chinese Women Association
6. Chinese Culture Association (NZ)
7. North-south Business Inc.
8. Christchurch Chinese Students & Scholars Association(CCSSA)
9. China and NZ Education Society
10. New Zealand Fu Qing Association
11. NZ South Island Fu Qing Association
12. Christchurch Chinese Online
13. Jimmy Chen, Riccarton Community Board
14. South Island Business Association
15. The Sun Newspaper
16. Skykiwi Online
17. Lincoln University Chinese Students and scholars Association
18. South Island Fujianese Society of New Zealand.
19. New Zealand Messenger
20. University of Canterbury Chinese Students & Scholars Society(UCCSSS)
21. Chinese Entrepreneur Association of New Zealand
22. New Zealand Chinese Hubei Association.
23. New Zealand Chinese Henan Association
24. Christchurch Chinese Dance Association

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