22 February 2011 / 22 February 2018 – Remembering

Seven years ago Christchurch was hit by an earthquake that killed 185 people. It’s a sad anniversary, and sometimes it is hard to know how – or where – to commemorate it. For the last seven years, my way has been to walk and think and take some photos.  This morning I visited the former CTV site on the corner of Cashel and Madras Street. Ōtākaro Limited has landscaped the site, and it opened to the public today.

Sign at the Former CTV site
Sign at the Former CTV site. Thursday 22 February 2018. Flickr Former CTV site #IMG_6489

Diagonally across the road, is the 185 empty chairs installation by Peter Majendie.  This is an artwork that rends your heart. I’ve only be able to stand near it, and somehow felt the chairs were sacred. But today, Peter and some helpers were cleaning the rain and water off the chairs so I joined in and helped. It felt profound.

File reference: 185 chairs #IMG_6501
185 empty chairs, Flickr 185 chairs #IMG_6501

See photos from the former CTV site and the 185 chairs.

We have a list of commemorative events on today, and places that you might like to visit: Thursday 22 February 2018 – Earthquake Commemorations.

Wherever you are, whatever you feel, however you choose to reflect – you are not alone. Arohanui, Ōtautahi.

Find out more:

Good advice from All Right?:

 

Thursday 22 February 2018 – Earthquake Commemorations

The seventh anniversary of the 22 February 2011 quake is on this Thursday 22 February. There are places where the community can come together to reflect, and remember.

eqnzmemorial

Service at the Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial

The seventh anniversary of the 22 February Canterbury Earthquake will be marked with a public Civic Service at the Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial site. The service will begin at 12:30pm at the Memorial site on the corner of Montreal Street and Cambridge Terrace. The service is expected to take around 45 minutes, followed by the opportunity to lay floral tributes at the Memorial Wall across the river. It will be livestreamed on the Christchurch City Council website for those who can’t be there.

View the Public Civic Canterbury Earthquake Memorial Service livestream, from 12.30pm, Thursday 22 February:

Find out more:

Oi Manawa Canterbury National Earthquake Memorial
Oi Manawa Canterbury National Earthquake Memorial. Flickr 2017-02-22-IMG_8702

River of Flowers Earthquake Commemorations on 22 February

Flowers on the Avon, River Road, Flickr CCL-2012-02-22-IMG_1173
Flowers on the Avon, River Road, Flickr CCL-2012-02-22-IMG_1173

Community groups come together to commemorate, remember, console, update and look to the future. All welcome at any of the five sites this year:

  • Otautahi The Bricks hosted by Avon Loop Res Assoc.
  • Medway ‘Bridge’ supported by Avebury House and Avon-Ōtākaro Network
  • Wainoni/Avonside at Wainoni Avonside Community Services
  • Avondale/Burwood by Burwood Christian Centre
  • Moncks Bay at the Christchurch Yacht Club

The sites will be hosted between 12.30 and 1.30pm, Bring a flower to drop in the river.

Find out more:

Information from the River of Flowers page on Facebook.


The former CTV site – a “peaceful and reflective memorial to those who lost their lives”

Ōtākaro Limited reports that the landscaped former site of the Canterbury Television (CTV) building will be open to the public from 22 February.

Read The Press article: CTV site work on track for completion before February 22 Christchurch earthquake anniversary

The site is now owned by Crown development company Ōtākaro, which has been working since October to turn the space into a peaceful and reflective memorial to those who lost their lives.


185 Chairs – Earthquake Remembrance Art Installation

Some people find this a place of contemplation and remembrance. The 185 chairs installation was created by artist Peter Majendie and is currently located on the corner of Madras and Cashel Streets.

185 white chairs - Madras Street
185 chairs. Flickr 2017-02-22-IMG_8626

Earthquakes and Butterflies – Theatre of Transformation (22 to 25 February at the Christchurch Transitional Cathedral)

Earthquakes and Butterflies is an exciting professional theatre piece directed by Helen  Moran, shaped from the life stories of a cluster of people whose lives crisscross like the fault  lines under the city. Based on the novel by Kathleen Gallagher, Earthquakes & Butterflies is full of hope, humour and tenderness – strangers help unasked, generosity is freely given and shelter is for sharing.

Find out more about performances and tickets.


Our community remember the 22 February 2011 earthquake in a number of ways – by visiting a particular place, or by having a moment of silence and remembrance. We share that reflection together, wherever we are.

Leaving the Red Zone: An Anthology of Earthquake Poetry

In vain, I have trawled the email highway of Christchurch City Libraries in an effort to “out” some closet poets amongst all the erudite librarians out there, but the only contributors to Leaving the Red Zone: Poems from the Canterbury Earthquakes, an anthology edited by James Norcliffe and Joanna Preston, that I could find were myself and Greg O’Connell. Greg works at Linwood Library and I work at New Brighton.

I know of at least one other poet working at the library – Dylan Kemp.

The anthology was launched on Monday 29 February at The Laboratory pub in Lincoln and the launch was extremely well attended. Mayor Lianne Dalziel gave an introductory speech before a packed crowd of poetry lovers and then, because there was only limited time and 87 contributors, some contributing poets were picked from a hat to read their contributions. I was one of the lucky ones who got picked from the hat to read at the launch which was an honour.

Old Press site
3 June 2012. Flickr CCL-2012-06-03-IMG_3532

So get out there and grab yourself a copy from any good bookstore and get the real story behind the earthquakes – from September 2010 until the present day.

More on Leaving the Red Zone

Discover more earthquake poetry in our collection:

Cover Cover Cover Cover Cover

Andrew Bell
New Brighton Library

Five years: 22 February 2016 in pictures

Arohanui, Christchurch. Here are some photos of our city this morning as we remember the earthquake, five years ago today. Our love goes out to those who lost those dear to them, and to those still suffering. Our thanks to those who are here to help us regroup and rebuild.

Rose, ChristChurch Cathedral
Rose, ChristChurch Cathedral. 22 February 2016. Flickr 2016-02-22-IMG_2731
Lichfield Street
Lichfield Street. Flickr: 2016-02-22-IMG_2670
Passing Time by Anton Parsons, CPIT, Madras Street
Passing Time by Anton Parsons, CPIT, Madras Street. Flickr: 2016-02-22-IMG_2796

Looking back

That was then, this is now – 4 September 2010 / 4 September 2015

This morning I took some photos of familiar places, of my old neighbourhood. To see what things look like now.

I used to buy bagels and fruit and vege from here. Here’s what it looked like early on 4 September 2010.

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

Here’s what it looks like now.

Victoria Street

Victoria Street, Christchurch. Friday 4 September 2015. Flickr 2015-09-04-IMG_9102

Knox Church was looking poorly on 4 September 2010.

Knox Church, 4 September 2010.

Knox Church, 4 September 2010. Kete Christchurch.

And now, all new and fresh.

Knox Church, Victoria Street

Knox Church. Christchurch. Friday 4 September 2015. Flickr 2015-09-04-IMG_9109

The Central Library on Gloucester Street, soon after the quake.

WiFi users outside the Central Library

WiFi users outside the Central Library Even though the library is closed due to the earthquake customers are still happy using the free Wi Fi, 7 September 2010. Flickr CCL-CE-2010-09-07-DSC01928

And the same spot now.

Old Central Library site, Gloucester Street

Central Library site. Christchurch. Friday 4 September 2015. Flickr 2015-09-04-IMG_9162

Here’s the 2015 photos. There are also photos of the same area from 4 September 2014. There have been plenty of changes since then too.

The Press has done some Then and Now features:

And the CEISMIC crew have revisited five key sites, five years later.

More photos and stories:

Our blog posts looking back:

Five years ago: 4 September 2010

Five years ago today, Christchurch and Canterbury were shaken awake at 4.35am by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. My neighbours and family wandered around the corner to see this on Victoria Street.

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

Knox Church, 4 September 2010.

Knox Church, 4 September 2010. Kete Christchurch.

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).

Central Library : after the quake

Central Library : after the quake. Flickr CCL-CE-2010-09-08-DSC02045

WiFi users outside the Central Library

WiFi users outside the Central Library Even though the library is closed due to the earthquake customers are still happy using the free Wi Fi, 7 September 2010. Flickr CCL-CE-2010-09-07-DSC01928

Here’s some snippets of memory from 4 September 2010:

  • A few objects fell down in the house, but the kitchen was almost untouched, except for a container of oil which left a big oil slick on the floor.
  • After the initial drama of getting out of the house we made contact with their neighbours in the other three flats. When we had calmed a bit, we began to venture around the neighbourhood. Around the corner, the Daily Bagel building had collapsed on to the street.
  • We never lost power and were without water for only a short time. Our place became a gathering point for friends who came to charge phones and use the internet.
  • Our chimney came down.
  •  Dad was in Dunedin and immediately hitched a ride back on a truck – probably the only person trying to get to Christchurch!

If you feel like telling your stories, visit Quake Stories.

More photos and stories:

Our blog posts looking back:

On the website

4 September 2010 – 5th anniversary ceremony

Kia ora Christchurchians and Cantabrians, we thought you might be interested in this information from Mayor Lianne Dalziel on a dawn ceremony on 4 September 2015 – it will be five years since we all got shaken out of bed at 4.35am when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck.

The media release: Dawn ceremony for fifth earthquake anniversary

Mayor Lianne Dalziel is inviting Cantabrians to join her for a special sunrise ceremony in remembrance of the September 2010 Christchurch earthquake.

Residents are invited to gather on the beach outside the New Brighton Library from 6.10am on Friday 4 September 2015, the fifth anniversary of the first Christchurch earthquake.

A short ceremony will be held ending with a shared watching of the sunrise at approximately 6.50am.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel says, “This is the time, on the dawn of the fifth anniversary of the earthquake, to gather together as a community to reflect on our city’s journey. It is a chance to remember what we have been through since September 2010 and, as the sun rises, to look ahead to what the future may hold.”

Parking is available in the carpark north of New Brighton Library. Temporary lighting on the beach will lead you to the gathering point just past the pier.

Find out more about 4 September 2010 earthquake.

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-
IMG_4064

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