The Governor General of New Zealand", Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae said of Christchurch in his memorial speech today, "We have seen this community of people endure so much, it has been repeatedly tested, and it has not been found wanting."
I don't feel that anyone has said it better than that. There were many speeches & letters from around that world that spoke glowingly & with the highest respect of this community - & it was well deserved.
Those of us that have stuck it out, been here through thick, thin & a whole heap of aftershocks, either by choice or by circumstance over the last year will know what I mean. Today was a milestone. An official new beginning where the only way is forward.
All that was new a year ago isn't new now & even the resolve & resilience is feeling a bit old in some quarters. But after "the year of firsts" that all experience when they grieve, whether it be for the loss of loved ones, a way of life, jobs or homes you realise that life does go on, different to what it was before that moment when everything familiar & safe changed.
From here on in the idea's & innovations that have arisen from this natural disaster are only going to get better. Simply because us stubborn, proud, bloody minded Cantabrians are determined that it should.
I thought that a particularly nice touch in the memorial service was the choice of realsing 185 Monarch Butterflies to represent each life lost in the earthquake & also to mark new beginnings.
Geurrilla Gardening on the corner of Stanmore Road & Worcester Streets where a row shops once stood.
I think I prefer seeing the cosmos, poppies, calendulas, rudebeckia & such to an empty weed infested section - don't you?