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River of Flowers to mark the sixth anniversary of Feb quakes

Media Release: for immediate use 20 February 2017

River of Flowers to mark the sixth anniversary of the February earthquake

Huge demand from the community – particularly those affected by the recent Port Hills fire – has led to River of Flowers organisers to hold the event again this year.

 “Being the sixth anniversary we had planned this year’s River of Flowers to be smaller,” says Evan Smith, from the Avon Otakaro Network and co-organiser of River of Flowers. “However, the fires have brought back so many memories from the time of the earthquakes that communities have asked us to hold it again.”

Evan Smith says many people in the city are feeling anxious.

“The sight of that very ominous cloud of smoke billowing from the Port Hills took a heavy toll on us and again we were faced with the heartache of families losing their homes and a hero losing his life. Many people are back to living on adrenalin again when we were already running on empty”.

Co-organiser Michelle Whitaker, from Flourish Inc., says the River of Flowers will have seven sites and is an important chance for people to come together and reflect on what they have been through.

 “The sites span along Christchurch’s rivers from Princess Margaret Hospital and the CBD to the sea.”

Michelle Whitaker expects the busiest site to be the unveiling of the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial Wall. “This will be the opening and dedication of the memorial wall and the first time that the families will see their loved one’s name engraved in marble, alongside all the others who were lost six years ago. It will be incredibly moving”. 



 

As well as being able to place flowers in the river, Michelle Whitaker says they are encouraging people to take a moment to write a message of hope. “These will be placed on trees at each site and enable us to show how much we care, pay tribute to the people and communities that were lost six years ago. It will be an incredibly sad day”.

 

For a full list of River of Flowers sites go to www.flourish.org.nz/river-of- River of Flowers’ Earthquake Commemoration Site Map (below and attached).

ENDS

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