Selwyn remembers March 15
by Ann van Engelen
Remembering the one-year anniversary of the March 15 mosque attacks, Selwyn community members met across the district to remember the lives lost in the event.
“Forty people from the local congregation meet together at Trinity Church in Darfield on Sunday. We gathered at the bell tower at the lychgate with members of the neighbourhood for local commemorations,” says Archdeacon Susan Baldwin.
“The bell was tolled 51 times, a toll to represent each of the people who died a year ago at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch. Commemorations were also held in Sheffield, Springfield and Hororata.”
Mayor Sam Broughton says the council stands with the ethnic and migrant communities affected and supports those who are feeling deep loss and sadness at this time.
“The events of last year were a horrid time for those directly involved and our wider community,” he says.
“The response of love and kindness is an example to us all. Showing love to those who love you in return is simple. Showing love to those who act aggressively towards you is next-level love. Selwyn is a multicultural district, and we are a more exciting and vibrant place for the diversity within our community. No matter your ethnicity or faith, thank you for calling Selwyn your home.”
Surinder Tandon, representative of the Christchurch Multicultural Council and the Hindu community in the Canterbury Interfaith Society says it was, in fact, an attack on our diversity, both religious and cultural and on our harmonious relations.
“It was also a reminder of how the community came together in solidarity and chose the path of peace — supported by the hard work of the Christchurch Multicultural Council, agencies, governments and individuals serving the ethnic and wider communities.
“The time after the attacks showed us our strong, united diversity, which brought out immense solidarity, compassion, love and empathy from people of diverse cultures. We highly appreciate and acknowledge the victims’ families and the Muslim community for choosing the path of peace and for their forgiveness and resilience after the terror attacks.
“We must continue to work more closely than ever before to strengthen and celebrate our unity in diversity.”