Christchurch stops to remember

02:17, Feb 22 2013
Flowers in cones
Flowers placed in road cones on the Ferrymead Bridge mark the second anniversary of the deadly February 22 earthquake.
Flowers in cones
Flowers placed in road cones on the Ferrymead Bridge mark the second anniversary of the deadly February 22 earthquake.
Flowers in Bowenvale Valley
FRESH: New flowers appeared in traffic cones in Bowenvale Valley this morning.
Merrin School remembers
MERRIN SCHOOL REMEMBERS: Pupils placed 185 paper flowers at the base of their flag pole to mark the second anniversary of the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
Merrin School remembers
SYMBOLIC: Merrin School's 185 handmade paper flowers commemorate those who died in the February earthquake.
Flowers in cones
Flowers placed in road cones in Ferrymead mark the second anniversary of the deadly February 22 earthquake.
Flowers in cones
Flowers placed in road cones in Ferrymead mark the second anniversary of the deadly February 22 earthquake.
Flowers in cones
Flowers placed in road cones in Ferrymead mark the second anniversary of the deadly February 22 earthquake.
Flowers in cones
Flowers placed in road cones in Ferrymead mark the second anniversary of the deadly February 22 earthquake.
Sign of the times
CHRISTCHURCH REMEMBERS: Flowers are appearing around the city as we remember those who died.
Second quake anniversary
Hundreds of people gather at Latimer Square ahead of the anniversary ceremony.
Second quake anniversary
The crowd waits for the ceremony to start.
Second quake anniversary
The crowd waits for the ceremony to start.
Second quake anniversary
Labour leader David Shearer, Mayor Bob Parker and his wife Jo, and Prime Minister John Key sing during the anniversary ceremony.
Second quake anniversary
The crowd listens to the speeches during the ceremony.
Second quake anniversary
People gather at the CTV site ahead of the anniversary ceremony at Latimer Square.
Second quake anniversary
The minute's silence is observed at Wainoni Methodist Church.
Second quake anniversary
Flowers were placed at the CTV site.
Second quake anniversary
Prime Minister John Key shared this photo of him at the anniversary ceremony on Twitter. "I've just spoken at the Earthquake Memorial, a sombre occasion as we pause to remember those who died or were injured," he tweeted.
Key, Parker, Brownlee
CROWDS GATHER: PM John Key arrives in Latimer Square with Mayor Bob Parker and Earthquake minister Gerry Brownlee.
Wainoni flowers
IN MEMORY: Flowers are placed in a tribute at Wainoni Methodist Church to those who died two years ago.
Wainoni Methodist Church - candles
IN MEMORY: Candles are lit at the Wainoni Methodist Church memorial service.
Street savvy
RESPECT: Hats are removed at the quake memorial service in Latimer Square.
Large screen for memorial service
CLOSE-UP: A large screen helped the Latimer Square crowds see the memorial service speakers.
Peter Majendie
CANTERBURY ARTIST: Peter Majendie, known for his earthquake memorial featuring 185 white chairs, takes a look at tributes at the CTV site.
Jaime Gilbert
FAMILY TRIBUTE: Jaime Gilbert's family placed a tribute on a road cone outside the Iconic bar on Manchester St where he was killed.
St Bernadette's School
ST BERNADETTE'S: This Hornby school lay flowers in a heart with the words: Love, Pray, Help, Remember and Rebuild.
NZ flag at Latimer Square
REMEMBERED: A mourner looks at the wreaths through a NZ flag at Latimer Square's memorial service.
Scott Base floral tribute
WITH LOVE: Nichola Lang, left and Nicky Hawker, in Scott Base

A tear-stained Christchurch is nearly through the ''worst of it'', Prime Minister John Key has told residents while marking the second anniversary of the February 22 quake.

A series of events are being held around Christchurch today to mark the terrible destruction brought by the quake and to remember the 185 people killed.

More than 500 people gathered at Latimer Square for the main memorial service at midday, where Key and mayor Bob Parker gave speeches.

Key urged Cantabrians to ''persevere'' and ''stay strong''.

"In the past two years, I would bet more tears have been shed in this city than in the rest of the country put together," said Key.

"We're just about through the worst of it. Better times are ahead as we rebuild a city that we can all be proud of."

Advertisement

Key said the Government was "absolutely committed" to the rebuild and hoped people could remain patient.

"I know it's hard, I know there's still suffering, and everyone is anxious for things to go faster, but this job is unprecedented in the world, and we should judge ourselves by how we have come so far."

He paid tribute to those who lost loved ones in the quake.

"Your grief is still raw, and only time can help numb the pain of your loss."

Parker said the rebuild needed to produce a city that honoured the losses of the past two years. "As much as we say we will look forward ... we have to acknowledge that the  terrible events that took place here have caused a deep pain, a deep sense of loss that will be with us forever."

Stuff