Old neighbours from communities decimated by the earthquakes will meet up again on Sunday at gathering places along the waterways of Christchurch.
Every year people come together and reflect on the anniversary of the 22 February earthquake as part of the River of Flowers community commemorations.
Avon-Ōtākaro Network (AvON) the group advocating to turn the Avon River red zone into a city-to-sea eco-reserve and recreational river park organises the event in partnership with Healthy Christchurch an initiative of the Canterbury District Health Board.
“I find it very uplifting catching up with old friends from my old neighbourhood to hear what they are up to now and to check out the many changes in the old locality that have taken place since we last met up a year ago” says Evan Smith, Co-Chair of AvON.
“A few months ago I watched my old house demolished in less than an hour. Sometimes the only way we can recognise the sites of our old red zoned homes is by the few trees that have been left behind.
“In some ways we red zoners are the lucky ones – neighbours that we left behind on TC3 land have had a range of different issues to live with and many are still waiting on insurance settlements to be resolved and homes repaired.
“It’s very important for all of us to reconnect with the rivers and the surrounding lands that were often most impacted. Restoring these to their natural state would make a very meaningful living memorial to those that lost so much,” says Smith.
This year there will be 14 River of Flowers sites throughout Christchurch. People are invited to gather at 12:30pm for two minutes silence at 12:51pm and then place flowers in the river and write messages of hope for the future.
For more information visit www.healthychristchurch.org.nz