No one ever has the right words to speak to an entire audience when the audience itself is so diverse. We know our readers come from everywhere – stuck and unstuck, supporters, workers, and watchers. Regardless of your current situation, the September 4th quake four years ago is likely to have had a profound impact on your life in one form or another.
Deon Swiggs, known to most around town for his prolific selfies with movers and shakers, has summed up his opinion in a great article on the Rebuild Christchurch site here. He has captured well the diversity in opinion depending on the lens you view aspects of the recovery from.
Staff at CanCERN did what we always do on September 4th. We headed to Wainoni Methodist Church to join Betty Chapman and the elderly in the community as they sang, laughed, ate and poked fun at the long recovery. Betty works hard to create better memories for these residents and we have to admit, it was a special treat watching Minister Bill English sing, ‘When EQC comes marching in’. It was a shame he had to leave before the satirical placard parade about the many notices and assessments residents have had to endure.
The Wainoni Choir choose their songs carefully; songs that uplift and remind us to stay connected. It is hard to feel like a stuck person in this environment. Weariness, anxiety, powerlessness and cynicism are unexpectedly pushed aside by a sense of collective experience and caring. That’s why we keep going back on every anniversary.
One song the choir sang that was written by June Burney has big words for us here in Canterbury:
We will pull through
We will be strong
We will succeed
In united song
Sitting in the room with tired but smiling older people it is easy to believe it. The challenge is to hold onto that belief when we are in our homes and our communities. Thanks once again to Betty for challenging us to strive for better memories and better connections.