Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Christchurch Memorial Day In Photos

Another week where our lives seemed like they were getting back on track, moving on from lack of sleep and aftershocks.  However, just to remind us to keep on our toes, a nasty 5.1 aftershock at 9.47pm on Sunday night.  Here is a rough update on the main parts of life in Christchurch at the moment;
  • We are still boiling our water, this has now officially been happening for 1 month.  I know exactly how much water we all drink in our house because I have to boil all the stuff everyday.
  • Our city library is still closed.
  • We are busy preparing in earnest our emergency kits for 2 cars, 2 cats (thanks Leanne at Cottagetails), a front door (get out now, you're being evacuated) kit and a stay at home kit.  An expense I'm some how trying to squeeze out of the household/grocery budget.  Lucky for us baked beans and spaghetti are .99 cents each at Countdown this week. 
  • We are still limiting all unnecessary travel around the city, no going into any older buildings and malls and no parking beside any buildings. Definitely no parking buildings ever again!
  • We are banned from watering the garden or washing the car.  Luckily it's raining today to water my new seedlings.
  • The odd sleeping arrangements in the house still continuing, everyone back in bedrooms, in most cases not their own though.  However, the family are all sleeping through the night.
Christchurch Memorial
Georgia and I attended the memorial as planned.  The day was very hot and sunny, without a cloud in the sky.  I agree with what has been said about the day, that it was a wonderful tribute the ones who died, and to the people of Chirstchurch.  We watched a 14 minute montage before the event started, which showed the extent of damage in the streets of the CBD.  This previously unseen footage was heart breaking. All the buildings we have been to in the past, or shop at, or visit for very specific reasons are gone.  If you can imagine 80% of your favourite places to visit suddenly disappearing one day, you might get the picture.  It dawned on me while watching that montage, that our lives have truly been altered, and that life has changed for good.  In a sense, we are all mourning the "death" of those buildings as well as the people who perished in them.

Georgia had the most amazing opportunity to meet Prince William.  She shook his hand and spoke quickly with him.  She says she will never wash her hand again! Georgia also shook hands with Bob Parker (our mayor) and with Dave Dobbyn (famous New Zealand singer).  I only managed to get some quick photos as Prince William and John Key walked past where I was standing.

Prince William of Wales

Our Prime Minister, John Key

 Willie Apiata, our Victoria Cross recipient.  Unfortunately, he turned around just as I was taking this shot.

The USAR dogs, very cute.  Georgia was really keen to find out more about them.  The USAR men were very welcoming with her, and patiently answered her questions.

The council had gone to alot of trouble with lovely touches around the park.

Looking down 3 blocks to the damaged Christchurch Cathedral and CBD

This is the reason business owners are not being allowed back into their buildings, because each minor aftershock brings down more masonry

The repair bill for our beautiful Arts Centre Complex alone will cost $100 million


  1. Hi Lee-Anne,
    I loved seeing your photos. I have not been back over the Waimak bridge in 4 weeks, so I'm still in denial about the ruins in the city. :o)
    That's so great that you got to see Prince William so close up.
    We felt that 5.1 out here on Sunday. Incredible what it does to your heart rate! If you need some respite from the boiling water and aftershocks, you're welcome to come out here for a visit.
    I will never park in a parking building ever again, either. Actually, I banned them after the Sept quake!

  2. What an awesome thing for Georgia to get to shake Prince William's hand, Leeanne! I think it was real nice of him to visit with the people of CHCH and also the Pike River Tragedy families.

    Sorry to hear of another hefty aftershock. You are right in saying..Christchurch is altered, but the community strength will get you through. We Kiwi's all around the country are thinking of you (((hugs)))

  3. How awesome that Georgia got to touch Prince William - oooh yea baby!

    I watched it on telly & was very proud to be a kiwi - espc how it included most faiths - pretty much a first.

    I don't like going into the city at best of times - and hate carpark buildings - now I will never park in them also.

    Thanks for keeping us up with what & how yea all are doing - we do wonder!

    Love Leanne

  4. Thank you for your kind comment today. I am glad that my words helped you. Keep letting us know how you are doing. You bring a personal point of view to all of this that I could not get from so far away. Thank you.



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