Remembering 22 February 2011 – four years later

On Sunday 22 February 2015, it will be four years since the 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch and the loss of 185 people. To commemorate this sad day, there will be a Civic Memorial Service for the community of Christchurch on the Archery Lawn at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens at noon. This is a public event. A live stream will be shown on the Council’s website for those who cannot attend.

Also, on Sunday 22 February 2015, the River of Flowers commemoration is being held again allowing you to share your experiences and hopes for the future. River of Flower sites will be set up along the Avon and Heathcote rivers, and at the estuary. The sites are open from 8am to 8pm, and hosted by local community groups between 12.30-1.30pm. Throughout the day people will be able to throw flowers into a waterway and write messages on a Tree of Hope. At 12:51 two minutes’ silence will be held. View the full list of 2015 River of Flowers sites.

As in previous years, artist Henry Sunderland is spearheading a Facebook campaign encouraging people to place flowers in roadcones to commemorate the quakes and as a wish for a bright future.

The Run to Remember, a 10km fun run and walk to honour those who lost their lives during the earthquake, will take place starting at 9am from Victoria Park in the Port Hills and finishing at Hansen Park in Opawa. A memorial service will be held at the end of the event.

In High Street, C1 Espresso cafe will be opening their rooftop garden. They welcome anyone who wishes to take a quiet moment and check out progress from up on top of the High Street post office.

Six short-listed designs for the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial were made public on 17 February. You are invited to give your feedback.

National trauma and grief support agency Skylight have documents on how to reflect and remember and ways to prepare for the anniversary (both are 200KB PDFs).

There will be more commemorative events in the community, and we will add information as we find it. Please let us know if you have any details.

Cashel Street - Re-Start Mall Wishing tree, Avonside

One way of coping is by recounting your experience. Here are some ways you can do that:

Explore our resources

22 February 2014

Flowers under the Peace Bell

Flowers left under the Peace Bell at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens in commemoration of the anniversary of the 22 February 2011 earthquake. Flickr: CCL-2014-02-22-22February2014 DSC_1215

22 February 2013

185 white chairs

Peter Majende 185 white chairs. Friday 22 February 2013. Flickr: CCL-2013 -02-22-

22 February 2012

Central Plinth
Avonhead Park Cemetery Interment Site. Flickr: CCL-2012-02-27-AvonheadParkCemeteryIntermentSite-February-2012 DSC_027

Waiho i te toipoto … Kaua i te toiroa.
Let us keep close together … Not wide apart.

That was then, but this is now: 4 September 2010 / 4 September 2014

A look at a couple of sites affected by the 4 September 2010 earthquake, and what they look like now.

Corner of Victoria Street and Bealey Avenue

Daily Bagel and Covent Fruit Centre 4 September 2010, Victoria Street, Christchurch.
Daily Bagel and Covent Fruit Centre 4 September 2010, Victoria Street, Christchurch. Kete Christchurch.

Carlton Butchery building, Victoria Street

Here’s how the same site looks today: 4 September 2014.

Knox Church – corner of Bealey Avenue and Victoria Street

Knox Church - 4 September 2010.
Knox Church – 4 September 2010. Kete Christchurch
Knox Church, Victoria Street
Knox Church, corner of Bealey Avenue and Victoria Street – Thursday 4 September 2014.

See the set of images Knox Church earthquake impact – Kete Christchurch.

More photos and stories:

Four years ago: 4 September 2010

Then, and now. It is strange how things blur, what you forget, and what you remember.

It was shake, awake, get out, fear, and heck, is everyone ok? And wow, there is the chimney all over the backyard.

This is what I saw shortly after 4.35am, after the 7.1 earthquake on 4 September 2010. Victoria Street, Christchurch.

The same spot on Victoria Street is now home to a lineup of the new Christchurch – Smash Palace, etc.

This blog proved to be a handy place from which to share information. Our first library blog post on 4 September 2010:

Christchurch experienced a major earthquake this morning 4.35am, Saturday 4 September 2010 …

Our book chat switched into Civil Defence, community information, library info, and ideas to look after the kids. (see our September 2010 posts).

Oh, and portaloo hugging.

In the days to come, there was so much to see and discover.  We entered into a new shocking and aftershocking world.

Of all the post September quake-related sights, one I will alway remember is a moment of rare delicacy, when the worker used his machinery to lift a chandelier, which he then passed to the owner. All of us watching cheered.

Demolition of Robertsons Bakery. Chandelier is being removed from Shrimpton Radcliffe Interior Design. 8 September 2010. Kete Christchurch.
Demolition of Robertsons Bakery. Chandelier is being removed from Shrimpton Radcliffe Interior Design. 8 September 2010. Kete Christchurch.

More photos and stories:

Our blog posts

On the website

Stop the clocks – 12.51pm 22 February 2011

Clock tower on Madras Street

Sometimes it seems a long, long time ago. Other times you are right there in it.
My nephew was born the day before, now he is a sturdy 3-year-old. My girl had her 2nd birthday a couple of days before, and she is starting school. Those I love mark the time for me.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with the anniversary. Flowers in cones, flowers in the river.

Time to be kind as gap widens is the message from the Canterbury District Health Board. The All Right campaign reinforces the message that whatever you feel is ok.

The Press has been doing a brilliant job publishing reflections and perspectives. Hats off to them. Standouts are:

Victoria Street clocktower
So stop the clocks, and feel what you feel. Our special love goes out to the people we lost, and those who suffer and grieve.  We miss those who have left town, and welcome those who have arrived.
Thanks to workers busy rebuilding, and people busy revitalising their communities. Arohanui Ōtautahi.

Hurrah for volunteers!

Today is International Volunteer Day, which is an annual event dedicated to celebrating and recognising all types of volunteers around the world.

Volunteering is a wonderful way to experience new challenges, develop new skills and get involved in the community. Our web page provides all sorts of information about volunteering in and around Christchurch.

Volunteering in Canterbury came into the spotlight after the earthquakes when organisations such as the Student Volunteer Army, the Farmy Army and many others were involved in the massive clean-up effort. These contributions really showed how much can be achieved when people come together with a common purpose to benefit the community.

The volunteering spirit has endured post-quakes with initiatives like Greening the Rubble and Gap Filler, amongst others, actively using volunteers in the quest to fill empty sites before permanent redevelopment.

My own experiences of volunteering helped me to discover if the career path I wanted to go down was right for me. I wanted to get into the museum sector and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to help out at my local museum. I was able to find out about this type of job in a very hands on way and meet people who could tell me more. This experience initially led to a part time job and helped me get onto a Museum Studies course.

So, whether you have a little time or a lot of time have think about volunteering as you never know where it will lead you – and if you know a volunteer say a big thank you to them today.

Looking back at 4 September 2010

This is what I saw shortly after 4.35am, after the 7.1 earthquake on 4 September 2010. Victoria Street, Christchurch.

The Central Library in Gloucester Street looked like this.
Central Library : after the quake

And while the Central Library was closed, people made the most of the free wifi.

WiFi users outside the Central Library

It was three years ago today, not long in the scheme of the things.
But doesn’t 3 September 2010 and before seem a world away.

More  photos and stories:

Our blog posts

On the website

Remember, and share

It is two years today since the devastating 22 February 2011 earthquake. One way many people cope is by recounting experiences. Here are some ways you can do that:

CoverYou can explore our resources:

Kia kaha: Picturing Canterbury


A tribute in front of the rebuild of Edgeware Super Value, 22 February 2012.

We remember …

Something about dust
and ashes and how things
fall …

The Suitcase by Fiona Farrell, in The Broken Book

We remember with aroha those lost in the 22 February 2011 earthquake.
Arohanui to all who loved you.

Railways, Recalcitrants and Rave-ups

When I bought my house in Addington, the real estate guru assured me it was an ‘up and coming suburb’. Of course, they all say such things, and it wasn’t the main reason for buying my house, but who would know it would take the earthquakes to push it into the status of  “the funkiest and most exciting post-earthquake neighbourhood”, according to the latest Lonely Planet Guide to New Zealand.
Photo of the Star Hotel Addington

The review goes on to say,

“Previously sleepy Addington is now being transformed with new cafes, restaurants, theatres and live-music venues.”

I have noticed quite radical changes, with old buildings torn down (many I admit I was not sad to see go), and many new cafes and restaurants bars opened that are the places to be seen, but the older less salubrious parts still remain. Huge new office spaces are being built and the Court Theatre  is doing very well in its new digs by the railway line. The suburb though is also developing a down side with increased drunkeness, and need for police presence on weekend evenings.

Photo of men at the A&P showMy Grandad worked at the Addington railway yards, fitting out the coaches for people to relax in on their journeys. I used to so love going to the Industries Fair they held as part of the A&P Show. This was held, weirdly, exactly on the spot my house is now. I feel as if I have come full circle in more than one way as my parents’ first flat after they married was a few blocks from where I live too.

The Addington Jail, was built 1874, in the gothic revival style so favoured in our city under the guidance of Benjamin W Mountfort. It has survived recent events, partly due to its 60cm solid concrete walls. It previously served as home to sentenced and remand prisoners, a women’s prison and  a military camp. Closed in 1999, it is now run  as a rather unique backpackers. New post quakes uses have been found for the former Woods Brothers flour mill in Wise Street. The Christchurch City Council has approved funding for restoration work, and the plan is to turn the wonderful brick building into an entertainment and social hub, further enhancing the suburbs growing reputation.

So I think I’ll stay for a while, and see what becomes of my hood. What changes are happening in your neighbourhood? Good, bad or sad?