At 12:51 a year ago today, a violent earthquake shook Christchurch, Lyttleton and the hinterland.
It lasted just 24 seconds but in that time changed the city forever.
Among the victims on the day were 185 who were killed and many more who were injured.
The physical and financial costs of the quake, and the thousands of big and small ones which have followed, might be quantifiable.
The emotional impact on the people of Christchurch is not.
Today we will remember them all: the people who died; their family and friends who will still be mourning for them; the people who were injured and those still supporting them; the people who were forced from their homes and businesses and those who have stayed.
Today is also an opportunity to honour the many organisations and individuals who have worked so hard to help the city and its people. Among them are Sam Johnson who was named Young New Zealander of the Year for his leadership of the Student Volunteer Army, and Federated Farmers’ John Hartnell who led the Farmy Army.
Today is an opportunity to look back in sadness but it’s also an opporutnity to look forward in hope.
Kia Kaha Christchurch.
Timetable of commemoration services:
Where: North Hagley Park
Christchurch residents welcome to attend the reading of names of the 185 who perished and two minute’s silence will be observed.
Where: North Hagley Park
Christchurch Earthquake Awards will celebrate those who rose above the call of duty to assist others in the aftermath.
Where: Latimer Square
Service focused towards those who lost loved ones as well as first responders, the public is also welcome to attend.
Where: Avon River
An event called River of Flowers. The public is invited to cast flowers into the river at particular sites. More information available here
Where: Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Festival of Flowers where Golden Angel/Spirit sculpture will be unveiled and ringing of Peace Bell by Japanese students who lost friends in the CTV building.
Where: Wainoni/Avonside Community Services Trust
Lighting of candles and two minutes’ silence along with other memorial activites.
Where: Branston Intermediate
The Crusaders will be manning the free BBQ and there will be ice cream and games to entertain the children.
Where: Sacred Heart Parish Church, Addington
Mass by the Filipino community of Christchurch.
Where: Queenspark Reserve
A Memorial Reflection where northeast Christchurch residents can reflect over the year at stations dotted around the park.
Where: Oxford Terrace Baptist Church
Reflection of Loss of Lives, Livelihoods and Living in Neighbourhood. An installation of white chairs will represent earthquake victims.
Where: Holy Trinity Avonside
Brief service and candle lighting will be followed by Ash Wednesday service.
Where: Spreydon Baptist Church
Remembrance and Ash Wednesday service.
Where: Selwyn District Council chambers, two minutes’ silence
Where: Rolleston Domain
Community picnic with music and children’s games
Where: Kaiapoi Baptist Church, the Kaiapoi Club and the Oxford Workingman’s Club
North Hagley Park’s Civic Memorial Service will be screened.
Where: District Council Rangiora and Oxford service centres and Darnley Square, Kaiapoi
Two minute’s silence.
Where: Parnell’s Holy Trinity Cathedral
Mayor Len Brown will lead two minute’s silence at 12.51pm.
Where: Aotea Square
The Auckland Town Hall clock bell will ring at the start and finish of two minutes’ silence.
Where: Auckland War Memorial Museum
Reading from The Broken Book by Christchurch author Fiona Farrell, two minutes’ silence at 12.51pm and a screening of When A City Falls documentary at 1pm.
Where: Anglican and Catholic cathedrals
Wellington’s service will be hosted by the Anglican and Catholic cathedrals, as vigil of solidarity with the two iconic Christchurch cathedrals that were destroyed.
Where: Otago Museum lawn
Otago Student Association president Logan Edgar says a two minute’s silence, mayoral address from Dave Cull and end karakia will be held.
Where: Majestic Square
Wanganui District Council’s youth committee and Mayor Annette Main will be hosting a service.