Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thinking of everyone across the Tasman in and around Christchurch!

Devastating news streamed from across the Tasman yesterday afternoon ... there's frequent daily flights between Brisbane and Christchurch due to the migration between these places ... with many people here having family over there or travelling there often. I wanted to pay tribute to this wonderful region and join others sending best thoughts and wishes to all concerned.

I was just reading the SBS world news site and found this post about social media to the rescue. During the recent Qld weather events social media proved its invaluable role in linking people with important information.... and in the 24 hours since Christchurch's devastating Earthquake its been providing other layers of critical support.

on a trip to Christchurch January 2010

I've posted on New Zealand in the past... its an extraordinary place to visit and many travellers have deep affection for this part of the world. Geographically spectacular and memorable ... its a landscape that comes with its share of volcanoes, earthquakes and geothermal earth forces. Here's one of the posts from last years trip... there are more from around that time too.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Views of the city yesterday showed parks and gardens as places of respite and safety ... location of  temporary medical centres .... and perhaps a safe place to be yesterday at the time of the quake?

Tranquil scene from Botanic Gardens

From the Christchurch Museum
 This was one of a number of images I took in the Museum ... from a section on Migration. Of course significant exhibits on Maori Culture feature there and an area dedictated to exploration in the Antarctic. Its struck me that the contents from the Museum like this above would likely be lost.

Lyttleton looking to the port - from last years trip 
 Lyttleton was the epicentre of the quake... I spent some hours in this fascinating village on route to Akaroa at the tip of the peninsula. I was very sad to hear of 80% of the buildings here sustaining damage....and as to the safety of people here Ive not heard any reports.

 Lyttleton is a port town on the north shore of Lyttelton Harbour next to Banks Peninsula, 12 km by road fromChristchurch on the eastern coast of the South Island of New Zealand. According to the 2001 census, the usual resident population of Lyttelton (including neighbouring bays such as Rapaki and Corsair Bay) was 3,042.

The harbour is an inlet on the north-western side of Banks Peninsula, extending 18 km inland from the southern end ofPegasus Bay. It is surrounded by steep hills formed from the sides of an extinct volcanic crater, which rise to a height of 500 m.[1] Several smaller settlements are dotted along the shore of the harbour, notably Governors Bay and Diamond Harbour. A small island, Quail Island, sits in the upper harbour southwest of Lyttelton.


A home for Māori for about 700 years, Lyttelton, or Te whaka raupo was discovered by European settlers on 16 February 1770 during the Endeavour's first voyage to New Zealand. The earliest evidence of a human presence in the area are moa bones dating from roughly 1250.
In August 1849 it was officially proclaimed a port.
Lyttelton was formerly called Port Cooper and Port Victoria. It was the original settlement in the district (1850). The name Lyttelton was given to it in honour of George William Lyttelton of the Canterbury Association, which had led the colonisation of the area.
The Lyttelton Times was one of the principal newspapers of the Canterbury region for 80 years, published from 1851 until 1929, at which time it became the Christchurch Times, until publication ceased in 1935.
Aiming to establish a Church of England colony in New Zealand, the Canterbury Association was founded in 1848. As Lyttelton was a harbour, and had a large amount of flat land suitable for farming and development nearby, it was ideal for a colony.
In 1862, the first telegraph transmission in New Zealand was made from Lyttelton Post Office.[2]
In 1870, fire destroyed all the wooden buildings in Norwich Quay, on the main street of Lyttelton.[2]
On January 1, 1908, the Nimrod Expedition, headed by Ernest Shackleton to explore Antarctica left from the harbour here.

The image below is of graffiti on the wall in Lyttleton when I visited.

Maybe it is through the tragic circumstances of life we remember we are all indeed linked ... and in a sense of one body!
S x


david weir art said...

great post Sophie,

Our thoughts go out to all who have lost love-ones

Sophie Munns said...

Thanks David,
I guess you may have some strong connections to the south... we had such a lovely time there a year its very vivid in our minds!
best to you,

iNdi@na said...

it's just awful. especially coming on top of last September.

Sophie Munns said...

I keep retracing steps in my mind from a year ago in this city and region... the morale and energy of those now facing a second and more devastating event must indeed be so hard India!
You're not long back from there... and I imagine closely connected with people from there!

Mlle Paradis said...

as always, an excellent post sophie. such sad news.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts go out to all who have been effected! Thanks for such a fantastic post Sophie!

Sophie Munns said...

Thanks MP,
I appreciated your earlier message too... its such a cold they had to deal with some rain and the cold as well... many people in temporary situations without warm clothes, summer they can still get wind and cold as if its coming all the way form the antartic! There'll be a lot of tourists, students etc in that situation.
S x

Its good to locate this for people Mary...I wanted to share images that celebrate this place after what weve been seeing! Thanks for your warm message!
S x

La Dolce Vita said...

just found out my fellow kiwi bloggers are all safe and well and giving thanks for that, but your post really centers in on what the destruction wrought. great post as always Sophie... xx's

Sophie Munns said...

So glad to hear that Cat.
Ive not yet heard about the Art Centre where I met some of the artists. This quake was so much more destructive that the one 5 months ago... even though many suffered that time. I was on the lookout during aerial coverage to see it the huge Arts Centre looked to be intact. I could see damage - Im hoping not the kind that that blocked people's exit from the buildings!
I know that a lot of work had been done on this heritage site to strengthen the buildings.
S xo

le bord doré des nuages said...

Heureusement qu'il y a des artistes qui savent , avec leur sensibilité, éclairer le monde, apporter les informations que nous ne recevons pas par les médias d'ici... pourtant nous sommes un pays surinformé(!?)....Merci chère Sophie pour tout ce que tu fais.

Sophie Munns said...

Translated: Luckily there are artists who, with their sensitivity, enlighten the world, providing information that is not received by the media here ... yet we are a country over informed (!?).... Thanks dear Sophia for everything you do.

Hello Dom,
thank you so much... I had to translate this ....what lovely words you say. I think it helps to get more information... the news does have a manner of repeating the same few facts... but so much is left out and you are not any wiser.
A very sad time for many over there ... all too often these tragedies play out around the globe... the closer to where you live the more you understand!
Merci Dom..

nathalie et cetera said...

Hi Sophie. So sad indeed. It seems your part of the world gets a lot of bad news lately. Chirstchurch seems to be a wonderful city. lets hope they can rebuilt ... it's not bringing back the lost ones though.
Another wonderful post from you.

Sophie Munns said...

I do keep thinking about the rebuild Nathalie... the liquifaction of the ground in a lot of places has made places continue to be unstable... and so much remains to be rebuilt that when I have hear for people experiencing loss twice in 5 months I really do wonder how they can keep going. A couple we heard of lost their home in September's quake... lost their rented home in this one... and were off to buy a mobile home. The continued aftershocks would make you feel very vulnerable there and the ones who have hopped on planes,buses, anything and have gone to stay somewhere for awhile...well ... one can understand that too!
And lots of foreign travellers and students were caught up in this... very sad for the those coming from places like Japan, China etc to take care of matters.
Appreciate your message Nathaie,

rivergardenstudio said...

So sad for these people of this beautiful place... we are all one and our love from around the earth goes out to them. roxanne

Sophie Munns said...

Lovely to read your fine words Roxanne...
nothing reminded me more of our global community than reading of a young Japanese student who found himself pinned under concrete and phoned his younger brother in Japan who phoned Japanese authorities till the series of calls brought rescuers to his aid in the Christchurch building he was trapped in.