New Zealand stops to remember

18:49, Feb 22 2012
Latimer Square - hugs
COMFORT: People arrive at Latimer Square for an 8am memorial service.
Latimer Square - St John
EMERGENCY SERVICES: Ambulance and search and rescue staff in Latimer Square.
Latimer Square - Bob Parker
LEADERS: Earthquake recovery minister Gerry Brownlee and Mayor Bob Parker await the start of the service.
Latimer Square - public
RESPECTFUL: Hundreds of members of the public join families of quake victims and emergency services staff for the Latimer Square service.
Latimer Square - Maori welcome
MAORI WELCOME: Henare Rakiiha Tau says "our tears are your tears and our grief is your grief".
Latimer Square - media
TELLING THE STORY: Media from around the world have come to Christchurch.
Latimer Square - Bob Parker speaks
HEAVY HEART: Mayor Bob Parker says today "is heavy with loss and emotion".
Latimer Square - tears
HIGH EMOTIONS: Hundreds of people joined the Latimer Square memorial service.
Latimer Square - Red Cross
RED CROSS: The Latimer service was for emergency services staff as well as families.
Latimer Square - couple
MOVING: The Latimer Square service proved deeply affecting.
Latimer Square - pair
STANDING STRONG: Shoulder to shoulder in Latimer Square.
Latimer Square - speakers
SPEAKERS: The Latimer Square service was multi-denominational.
Margaret and Louise Stocker
FAMILY SERVICE: Margaret Stocker and her daughter Louise joined the Latimer Square service. Margaret's husband Neil Stocker died in the Methodist Church on Durham Street.
Latimer Square - order of service
LATIMER SQUARE: Hundreds gathered for an early morning service.
Japanese commemorative garden
PEACE: A commemorative garden, complete with a sculpture and peace bell, has been created in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
Japanese commemorative garden - cathedral sculpture
EVER-LASTING: A sculpture of the Christ Church Cathedral features in Christchurch's commemorative garden.
Mayumi Asakawa
PEACE BELL: Mayumi Asakawa, a former Kings Education student rings a bell for those who died in the CTV building.
Mayumi Asakawa before bell ringing
TENSE: Mayumi Asakawa, a former student at CTV's Kings Education language college, prepares to ring the peace bell.
Nicola Arnott and daughter Molly
TO REMEMBER: Nicola Arnott and daughter Molly, 3, tie a message to a "tree of hope".
Roger Sutton and Bob Parker at press conference
LEADERSHIP: Canterbury Earthquake Recovery chief Roger Sutton and Mayor Bob Parker answer media questions ahead of the civic memorial.
Bob Parker answers media questions
MAYOR BOB PARKER: Media had a chance to ask questions ahead of the Civic Memorial Service.
St Faith's church - flowers in fence
UPLIFTING: Flowers are tied to a fence surrounding the St Faith's Church in New Brighton.
Crowds arrive for Civic Memorial
CROWDS ARRIVE: Hundreds are gathering in North Hagley Park for the Civic Memorial Service.
Medway St footbridge
TO REMEMBER: A cross is placed on the twisted Medway St footbridge in Dallington.
Henare Rakiiha Tau
WELCOME: A Maori ceremony of welcome was led by Henare Rakiiha Tau.
Crowd at memorial service
RESPECT: Thousands listen to the memorial service speeches.
Mayor Bob Parker
INTRODUCTION: Mayor Bob Parker addresses those gathered in Hagley Park.
John Key
CIVIC MEMORIAL: Prime Minister John Key addresses the service.
Student leader Sam Johnson
STUDENT LEADER: Sam Johnson, centre, speaks at the service.
Singer
TRIBUTE: A moving song is performed at the Civic Memorial.
Aerial crowds
AERIAL: Thousands are in Hagley Park for the Civic Memorial Service.
Friends support
SUPPORT: Standing together at the Civic Memorial Service.
City Mall
TAKING A MOMENT: People gather at the memorial service held in City Mall.
City Mall
GATHERED: More than 200 people attended the City Mall memorial service.
City Mall Service
CITY MALL: A memorial service was held in City Mall where many died last February.
Sir Jerry Mateparae
GOVERNOR GENERAL: Lt General Sir Jerry Mateparae
Lyttelton remembers
LYTTELTON REMEMBERS: About 200 people gathered, held hands and hugged on the site of a demolished deli on the corrner of London and Canterbury Streets for two minutes of silence.
Cashel Mall tears
COMFORT: Hundreds gathered in Cashel Mall for two minutes' silence.
Russell McCathy and daughter Catlin McCathy
Russell McCathy embraces his daughter Catlin Rose McCathy, who lost her mother Linda Rosemary Parker in the CTV building.
Christchurch Earthquake Awards - Bob Parker
A CITY'S BRAVERY: Mayor Bob Parker accepts a gold medal from the Royal Humane Society on behalf of Christchurch.

One by one the names of the 185 people killed in the Christchurch quake have slowly been read out, as the city recalls the tragic cost of February 22, 2011.

After the prayers at the Civil Memorial Service in Hagley Park, and before two minutes silence at 12.51pm, came the names.

Names of New Zealanders, Japanese, Chinese, Israeli, Canadians and more were read out, as members of the 20,000-strong crowd locked arms and stood with their heads bowed.

Estelle Marie Cullen
REMEMBERED: Estelle Cullen, 32, died in the Pyne Gould Guinness building. She was a client administration manager for finance company Perpetual Trust.
Road cones
GOING FLORAL: Flowers decorate road cones on Beatty St, near the intersection with Pine Ave, in South New Brighton.
Road cones
DRESSING UP: A road cone filled with flowers on Rolleston Ave, central Christchurch.
Estuary Rd Preschool
WE WILL REMEMBER: A memorial fence at the Estuary Road Preschool in South New Brighton.
Road cone flowers
TRIBUTE: Flowers in a road cone in City Mall at 2am today, with the Lights of Hope in the background.
Rangi Ruru Tree of Hope
TREE OF HOPE: Rangi Ruru students pin their thoughts and hopes to commemorate the February anniversary.
Rangi Ruru Tree of Hope
RISE UP: Messages of support from Rangi Ruru students.
London flowers in road cones
Christchurch ex-pat Sharon Campbell has taken the flowers-in-road-cones idea to London, adding a printed note to each bunch explaining to Londoners what it signifies.
Couple at Civic Memorial Service
TOGETHER: A touching moment captured by a reader at the Civic Memorial Service.
primary
THOUGHTS: Children at Mairehau Primary School placed their thoughts on love hearts and posted them on their school verandah today.
tribute
SUPPORT: Pupils from Room 4 at Mairehau Primary School made a earthquake tribute poster which had playing cards with messages on them.
cone
TOUCHED: Christchurch mother of four Hayley Marsh snapped this photo in Edgeware Rd today. She said: "one year on, I love this city more than ever".

It was stark a reminder that the quake spread its sorrow far and wide, and that while Christchurch would rebuild from its darkest day, there were those who were no longer with us.

"From all corners of the world, with all our creeds, with all our similarities and differences, we remember them," a prayer intoned, after Prime Minister John Key read from the bible.

Mayor Bob Parker said there had been a resurgence of strength and spirit within a community that was learning a new way to do things.

Advertisement

"No city has ever been more strongly united. This is a year like no other we have ever experienced," he told the masses.

But while looking forward to the city's future, he also took time to look back, and reflect on what the victims' families were going through.

"This day above all days must be a heavy, hard day for you. There must be pain, there must be many thoughts that cannot really understand or share, but we are all here with you and for you today."

As well as being a day for Christchurch, it was also a day for New Zealand to reflect. The crowd stood for an emotional rendition of the national anthem, flags flew at half-mast.

Hundreds of people also gathered in City Mall to observe two minutes silence.

The town crier stood before a plaque commemorating  the dead and rang his bell to signal the beginning of silence.
Afterwards family, friends laid flowers before the plaque.

Many people said they had come to the mall because they felt unable to handle the main memorial event in Hagley Park.

Four people died in City Mall on February 22 and many others were badly injured.

The buildings that collapsed have now been demolished and replaced with the Restart temporary shopping precinct.

Parker earlier admitted he was a "bucket of emotion", and recalled one of his "most poignant" memories for Japanese media.

He told them about watching Japanese urban search and rescue workers marching down the street to the CTV building and how, when they found a body, they would form a prayer circle.

He recalled seeing them blackened from the building, with ripped overalls and covered in dust marching "with great dignity" back to their camp.

"We remember their courage and the loss of those beautiful young souls from Japan."

Parker said the city had made "extraordinary" progress in the past year considering the "massive scale" of damage.

He was optimistic about the next 12 months, as there was an exciting opportunity to build a city which reflected the needs and values of the 21st century.

A peace bell was rung by former CTV-based student to remember classmates lost in the collapsed building, which claimed 115 lives.

Mayumi Asakawa, who attended the King's Education language college, returned to Christchurch from Japan for the ceremony in the botanic gardens.

She had been out at lunch when the February 22 quake struck.

About 100 people including dignitaries from China, Israel and the United States attended the ceremony in the gardens.

A new garden and gold angel sculpture was also unveiled in memory of the 185 people who died.

People were invited to hang messages on a nearby "wish tree".

One said: "I wish we will all continue to help each other".

At the end of the ceremony people threw flowers into the Avon River.

A sombre and reflective memorial service at Latimer Square opened the day's formalities.

There, Prime Minister John Key said the Government was committed to rebuilding this "great city".

Key thanked those who helped in the aftermath of the earthquake, among them St John Ambulance, the police and urban search and rescue teams.

Latimer Square was a focal point of the quake recovery, with survivors evacuated there for treatment.

The Canterbury Television building, where 115 people died, oversaw the square, until it was bent and crumbled by the massive forces unleashed by the quake.

The earthquake also shook New Zealand to its core, Key told the ceremony.

"Worst of all it stole 185 loved ones from us and injured so many more," he said.

Parker said everyone had thought Christchurch was on the road to recovery after the September 2010 quake.

''Everything changed. Everything changed; it will never be the same again.''

The special service opened with a Maori greeting. Henare Rakiiha Tau said people had to seek strength from God and their ancestors.

All shared the grief of the families he said, with their tears ''our tears'' and their grief  ''your grief''.

The end of the service was marked by a series of videos in which Christchurch residents talked about their hopes for the future and the release of 185 monarch butterflies.

After the service, families were escorted behind the cordon to the Canterbury Television Building site, the PGC building - where 18 died - and Cathedral Square, where the once beautiful Christchurch Cathedral was now in ruins.

Stuff