Quake memories raw three years on

Last updated 07:54 24/02/2014
CTV feb 22 third anniversary
Iain McGregor

REFLECTING: A woman and a child lay flowers at the CTV site in memory of the February 22 earthquake in 2011.

Photo: ┬ęSimon Baker/Reuters Zoom
CTV BUILDING: Firemen hose down the rubble of the CTV building, which was devastated by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in central Christchurch February 22, 2011. New Zealand declared a national state of emergency to cope with the effects of the devastating earthquake in the second biggest city - Christchurch.

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The third anniversary of the February 2011 earthquake was marked by thousands of people in different ways across the globe.

More than a thousand people attended a civic memorial in the Botanic Gardens on Saturday.

Lynda Patterson, the Dean of ChristChurch Cathedral, said everyone was gathered to support "those whose grief will never fade . . . to share their pain in the hope that somehow it will be lessened".

The Transitional Cathedral held a memorial service where the Kahikatea earthquake memorial sculpture, commissioned by Christchurch man David Bolam- Smith, was on display for the first time at the cathedral. At the CTV site, where 115 people were killed, family members laid flowers and wreaths.

For Jason Moore, whose 18-year-old daughter, Kelsey Sinitta Moore, and her 5-week-old daughter, Taneysha, died in Manchester St, yesterday's memorial was surreal, a "time vortex".

"People say it gets easier, but I don't reckon it has. It still feels like yesterday. It's still hard," he said.

Moore has a tattoo on his left shoulder, close to his heart. A picture of Kelsey with the words "Forever Young" and "Forever Tuesday" - the young mother was born on a Tuesday and died on a Tuesday. On his left forearm, Moore has Taneysha's name accompanied by two small footprints and an angel's halo.

Moore said the memorial service was bittersweet. "You realise it's not just you that's going through it," he said. "I will definitely keep coming back. I have told the boss I am never going to work on February 22 again."

Families of the quake's Japanese victims travelled to Christchurch for the occasion.

While hundreds of people joined in the 12 kilometre Run to Remember, others chose to mark the anniversary at one of the 15 River of Flowers sites along the Avon, Heathcote and Liffey rivers and at the estuary.

Christchurch man Seth Gorrie, of Avonside, created a digital map using photographs shared on social media to pinpoint spots around the world which marked the quake's anniversary.

Aside from many services held around New Zealand, the map showed the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and Antarctica also marked the anniversary.Fairfax NZ

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