Sign The Pledge - it's a wizard idea

MARC GREENHILL
Last updated 05:00 31/03/2011
The Pledge
DON SCOTT/The Press

MAGIC MOMENT: Carmelite Monastery nuns sign The Pledge not to leave Christchurch yesterday while the Wizard looks on from the visiting room. He also signed the document supporting the city's rebuild.

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An unusual alliance of devout nuns and the Wizard have made a commitment to the rebuilding of Christchurch.

Ian Brackenbury Channell yesterday joined forces with Carmelite Monastery nuns to sign The Pledge, having initially left Christchurch for Oamaru last month with his 91-year-old mother.

Fixing the town was "beyond my wildest powers", he said, at the time.

However, The Wizard is now among the more than 5000 people who have signed the community project supporting the rebuilding of Christchurch.

He said he left only for a few days and returned because he was needed.

Although an alliance with nuns appeared unusual, The Wizard said there was "not much" difference in their spiritual beliefs. "I'm not into materialism and neither are they. I get on well with both bishops."

It was important to build a city "so beautiful that it draws in the tourists", he said.

"We have the chance to do something special, which means we have to go back to the past for inspiration."

The Wizard said he planned to campaign for the rebuilding of the city's historic buildings.

Sister Dorothea Mary of Jesus, of the Carmelite Monastery, said there was a "spontaneous chorus of agreement" from the nine nuns to sign up.

"We've all felt what people have been through, and if that helps the city, we're only too happy to do that," she said.

Pledge organiser Garth Gallaway said securing the The Wizard's and the nuns' signatures was a "momentous and inspiring" occasion. "It simply serves to indicate what a special place Christchurch is." More than 130 businesses have requested signing pages, which would equate to about 18,000 signatures.

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