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Commemorative service tomorrow

Thursday 21 February 2013

Commemorative service tomorrow

Tomorrow (Friday 22 February) a service will be held in Latimer Square commemorating the second anniversary of the Canterbury Earthquake 22 February 2011.The Civic Memorial Service will be held in partnership with the Anglican ChristChurch Cathedral and begin at 12 noon.

The service will include a welcome by Ngai Tahu, readings, prayers and an address by Prime Minister John Key. Family members of those who were killed, seriously injured survivors, members of the emergency services and the wider community will have the opportunity to gather together and remember.

Mayor Bob Parker says that it’s important to acknowledge that the last two years have been extraordinary; the prolonged nature of the aftermath cannot be ignored and our personal and collective grief continues.

“But we can draw strength from remembering that in the days following the February earthquake the residents of Christchurch and our neighbours in Greater Christchurch showed a tremendous sense of community, solidarity and compassion. We helped each other: neighbours helped neighbours and communities pulled together to offer assistance to those most in need. This service is an opportunity to respectfully acknowledge this together and look forward to forging, step-by-step, a new future.”

The Venerable Lynda Patterson, Acting Dean of ChristChurch Cathedral says the anniversary comes at a time of enormous change for Christchurch.

“Each person will have their own memories of February earthquake but it is also important to seek the support of each other as a community and that is what we do on this day of remembrance. We take the opportunity to pause and remember what we have lost, question how we are different because of the past two years, and know what we are thankful for as we look to the future. The service is a chance for a collective expression of individual memories and also hopes for the future.”

The service will conclude with one minute’s silence at 12.51pm.

The service will take place at the south end of Latimer Square and a screen will be set up in the north end of Latimer Square for those who cannot see the stage. Wreaths and floral tributes will be laid at the temporary cenotaph in Latimer Square. At the conclusion of the service they will be transferred to the Bridge of Remembrance. In due course any mementos will be archived and the flowers mulched and sprinkled on Christchurch City Parks.

For more information and a copy of the Order of Service visit www.ccc.govt.nz/22Feb2013.

ENDS

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