ZB

No civic service to mark Christchurch earthquake anniversary

Author
Christchurch Star,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Feb 2022, 1:24pm
There will be no civic memorial service in Christchurch next week to mark the 11th anniversary of the February 22, 2011, quake that killed 185 people. Photo / Mark Mitchell
There will be no civic memorial service in Christchurch next week to mark the 11th anniversary of the February 22, 2011, quake that killed 185 people. Photo / Mark Mitchell

No civic service to mark Christchurch earthquake anniversary

Author
Christchurch Star,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Feb 2022, 1:24pm

There will be no civic memorial service in Christchurch next week to mark the 11th anniversary of the February 22, 2011, quake that killed 185 people. 

Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the service will not take place due to the restrictions in place to limit the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant. 

"This year, due to the public health measures that are in place to help limit the spread of Covid-19, there will be no such public gathering," Dalziel said. 

"Instead, it will be up to each of us to find our own way to mark the anniversary and to remember the people and places we lost." 

Dalziel will lay a wreath at the Memorial Wall at Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial on behalf of the city. The names of the 185 people who lost their lives in the earthquake will be read aloud. 

"People might want to mark the anniversary simply by spending time with the people that matter the most to them - their friends and family," said Dalziel. 

"Others might want to visit the Memorial Wall at Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial, or they might want to observe a minute's silence at 12.51pm – the time the earthquake struck. 

Dalziel said people can still acknowledge the anniversary by joining community events like the River of Flowers to be held at multiple sites across the city on Tuesday between 12.30 and 1.30pm. 

"The organisers of this event are inviting people to come to selected locations along the Ōtākaro Avon River and Ōpāwaho-Heathcote River to place a flower in the water," Dalziel said. 

Find the spot closest to you at flourish.org.nz/river-of-flowers 

"Placing a flower in a road cone is another simple act of remembrance that has become a popular way to mark the anniversary of the earthquake." 

Dalziel said future commemorations will also be scaled back. Memorial services will still be held when there is a significant milestone to be acknowledged, such as the 20th anniversary, or international bereaved families visiting Christchurch – particularly those who could not come for the 10th anniversary. 

"Although we are moving away from annual civic memorial services that does not mean we have forgotten the loss and the trauma that people suffered that day - nor have we forgotten the special relationship we have with bereaved families across the globe. 

"We will continue to read the names and observe a minute's silence on February 22 each year at the Memorial Wall at Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. We will never forget." 

- Star News