Vigil for Christchurch

I went to the Dunedin vigil last night. I felt that I should add to the many thousands showing sympathy and solidarity, and I’m glad that I did. The crowd was evidence that the many many New Zealanders feel for the victims, for the families and friends of the victims, for the Muslim community, and for dreadful deed dumped on the New Zealand community.

ODT: A city united

The stadium vigil was organised by the Dunedin City Council and Otago University Amnesty International Group.

Before it began, more than 10,000 students and staff sent a powerful message of solidarity as they walked in spine-tingling silence from the University of Otago to the stadium.

Otago Muslim Association chairman Mohammed Rizwan thanked the crowd – and the city – for its support.

It was hard to comprehend the “tragic” events in Christchurch, not because such terror was new, but “because of how much of ourselves we can see in the people whose lives were taken from us”.

“They were someone’s loved one, someone’s family – our family.”

The perpetrator had hoped to terrorise the community and the world “but he failed”.

“He failed because he chose us … because we gather here tonight united as one whanau,” he said, as the crowd applauded.

We all needed to be better, as people and a community, but out of such tragedy had come courage, strength and unity.

“With so much love from you, so much aroha, each day there’s a little less darkness,” he said.

The stadium vigil also included a karakia by Matapura Ellison, of Ngai Tahu, a waiata, prayers by other religious representatives and performances by the Otepoti Peace Choir.

The crowd left with the words of Dr Mai Tamimi, a Muslim community representative, ringing in their ears.

“There’s no place for hate among us … just love and peace.”

It was a coming together of many religious denominations – and those of us who don’t have religious beliefs. Strength in unity.

There are a number of other things happening around the country today, a week after the atrocities were committed against the people of New Zealand.

I may not post here for most or the rest of the day.

If you want to express sympathy or support then please do so.

WARNING – any comments on this thread that try to dump on any person or group, or try to promote agendas contrary to the spirit of this thread,  will be deleted, and the privilege of commenting without vetting here will be lost for the day at least.

There are hard questions we need to try and answer, there are challenging issues we need to try to address, and valid criticisms can be made but this is not the place for that.

This thread is dedicated to those people who were callously murdered  a week ago, to their families, friends, acquaintances, to the police, emergency services and public who helped, to the Muslim community in New Zealand, and to all New Zealanders who feel the enormity of what happened in our country.

Vigil for Christchurch.


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  1. Corky

     /  March 22, 2019

    I took a couple of days off from posting as a small gesture of respect. In those two days I had a chance to digest and come to terms with what had happened. It’s just dawned on me many service staff probably haven’t had such time to reflect on what they have been through.

    • Mother

       /  March 22, 2019

      There is a lot of hope for us as a country. If the tolerance we are willing to offer on this day became a longer term reality, we could go for centuries in safety and increasing wellness.

    • Zedd

       /  March 22, 2019

      Croc tears ?
      yawn… :/

      • MaureenW

         /  March 22, 2019

        You should read Pete’s post Z and perhaps try again.

        • Zedd

           /  March 22, 2019

          I just sez it… as I seez it MW

          as most in here do…

          • Mother

             /  March 22, 2019

            Zedd should not be admonished for expressing his reaction as an individual.

            I also do not believe in Group Think Mourning. I find it extremely unKiwi. But nobody can judge the depth of my sadness re the atrocity, and nobody can judge Zedd’s.

            I know a person who says he doesn’t care. For some people, that’s the way they cope. Each to their own is the Kiwi way of mourning….I hope. Or are we too scared to push against this Group Think spiritual thing?

          • Zedd

             /  March 22, 2019

            I have just reflected on what I have read.. on this site for over a year :/

  2. Finbaar Rustle

     /  March 22, 2019

    Those who died,who were injured and those left to suffer life long trauma
    did nothing to deserve their terrible loss.

    • Gezza

       /  March 22, 2019

      I will be observing the remembrance today but I am not religious & I am cannot imagine how I would cope with the loss of a beloved family member or friend who was a victim of this attack but the horror of it & the anger at the perpetrator would most likely remain with me forever. I think you have captured how I feel today.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  March 22, 2019

      The horror is that a human would wish this on others and then make it happen. That puts it apart from the many other tragedies of life.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  March 22, 2019

        Coupled with the complete lack of remorse after wreaking such misery and pain.
        He seems devoid of any compassion. It is quite chilling and fits perfectly with the “terrorist” label.
        It has been an interesting and reflective time.
        If you ignore the cesspit that is twitter, where blame is being cast like confetti based on the political leanings of the tweeter the reaction from almost all sectors has been uplifting and positive.
        But will the sentiment last past the next news cycle?

  3. Missy

     /  March 22, 2019

    Tonight I went to a vigil in Trafalgar Square organised by NZ groups in London. Hundreds turned up, the Square was full, and there was such a wide range of people there. The vigil was led by the Archdeacon of Canterbury, The venerable Jo Kelly-Moore, formerly the Dean of Auckland, and included elements of the three main monotheistic faiths (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism), it also included a lot of aspects of NZ culture, which I think was a different experience for the non-Kiwis in the crowd, to hear singing that isn’t hymns (the national anthem, a song by Ngati Ranana, Whakaaria Mai, and Tutira Mai were the songs sung), and having the haka performed, at what is essentially a remembrance service.

    • Corky

       /  March 22, 2019

      You can never go wrong with Whakaaria Mai. The mainstay of many Maori memorials.

  4. Zedd

     /  March 22, 2019

    “Salaam Alai qum” enuf sed :/

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  March 22, 2019

    I’m looking forward to the point when we can finish indulging emotion and readmit rationality. Emotion made the monster as well as supporting his victims. It has driven humanity’s worst actions as well as our best. We need to engage all our talents to find the best ways forward and emotion is not enough

  6. Zedd

     /  March 22, 2019

    this is a song of hope 🙂

    from a muslim revert