Saturday, March 5, 2011

Christchurch and Loss of...

Life ... I'm blessed to be more than a degree away from this loss. It is the worst, as we all know. This earthquake will cause a great deal of grief for many around the world. I haven't lived in this city long enough to have an expansive network, but even I know people who have suffered this loss. The friends were I am living, an older couple, both grew up here. Already they know that they are connected to at least four building missing in the city. This loss is the greatest of all losses. does a city rebuild world confidence? How can Christchurch claw through the destruction and come back a city that people will want to do busniness in and with? What tourist will come here? What language student will study here? What conference will be held here? People from twenty countries are missing in our city right now. How do we get confidence again? How do the people of Christchurch get the confidence to walk the streets again? How do you trust the buildings above your heads? How do trust the high-rise car parks? Confidence is lost.

Heritage and History...Christchurch was a different sort of city in this country. New Zealand is a young country. When you fly into Auckland you see a city that thriving and new. So shiny and bright. Heritage buildings are scattered across the cities and its suburb. Christchurch is a city where the buildings of history dominate. Brick, stone and concrete. When I came here almost 6 years ago I understood why this is said to be 'the most English city outside England.' After spending so many happy years in Cambridge, I found happiness in being here. It was comfortable. The city founders must have thought and planned to make this city as much like home as possible . It was a warm and comfortable city, with its lovely old buildings. The announcement today that half the brick buildings will have to be destroyed and a third of the city demolished is a painful loss of history.

I feel these losses too. It is not just the city that has suffered this, it is personal, it is me. My confidence is shaken. (Earthquake pun alert!) My heritage and history is lost, broken and shattered.

1 comment:

  1. Lives have been lost and buildings destroyed, but you have survived and so will your beautiful town. Both world wars saw the same kind of devastation and yet everyone pulled together to make it whole again and their relationships were made far stronger because of the suffering they had shared.
    Their lives were enriched by the sorrow and grief they both saw and endured. Their priorities were changed as the real meaning of what is truly important in life was shown to them. None of the fickle things the majority of us worry over are that important to any of you any more. You all know now what is real and what isn't - what really matters and what doesn't.

    You have all learned what most people in our world haven't and even though it took tragedy for this to happen, in some ways you are so blessed. You have all gone through this together and as such your friendships and help for each other will be genuine and strengthened. You as individual people have grown in ways most can only dream of without hope of ever reaching that same level you are now all on.

    Sadly, the best lessons we learn in life are those that are brought to us through the worst hardships or tragedies. It is these things that make us who we become and the people of Christchurch will be a stronger people and town for what they have shared.

    Memories are short and you will be surprised how quickly the the world and tourists will start to come again and how lives will be rebuilt.
    I wish you all God speed in getting your lives back together and pray God allows you all to now get on in peace to enjoy your lives in the town you will all help to rebuild and give to your children for their future.
    God Bless you all and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
    Lorraine xxx