Christchurch Earthquake 2011
Today Brooklands residents will hold one last farewell for their quake-battered community.
The Brooklands celebration and tribute held today is the last community event before much of the area is abandoned.
The northeastern suburb was essentially wiped off the map last November when more than 400 properties were red-zoned.
A further 70 had been written off in June last year.
The event, from 1pm at the domain, will include a memory walk, historical display and ideas for a permanent tribute.
It will conclude at the lagoon with speeches, music and kapa haka from Belfast and Ouruhia schools, and the release of paper boats and flowers.
Co-organiser Jo Wall said the idea was inspired by her visit to Lyell, a former mining settlement turned camping ground in the West Coast's Buller Gorge, whose history was still recounted a century later on mounted boards.
''I thought, 'These stories are being told 100 years later; we can tell our own stories now before we leave','' she said.
Brooklands' decline was like a ''slow death'', Wall said.
The only shop closed in January and the name on the Welcome to Brooklands sign had disappeared. Some community groups, the playcentre and the volunteer fire brigade were ''hanging in there''.
''The road signs are going fast and there are bits that have disappeared everywhere. Obviously, houses are coming down all the time,'' she said.
''It's this whole transition between being a busy, vibrant community to being very sparsely populated."
The event would acknowledge those planning to stay, but give those leaving a chance to say goodbye, she said.
It was estimated that 50 per cent of residents had gone.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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