Around the Table | DineOut Articles
The Christchurch Quake, February 22nd, 2011, 12.51pm
by Mr Lu, Mon 28th Feb 2011 04:45pm
Events in our lives determine so much for us, whether good or bad and underscore our very being. A natural disaster is, strangely enough, one of the best opportunities for a community to bring to the fore some of its finest traits, its most exceptional qualities and to excel at what its heart and its soul innately seeks to do. As we all reach out to our families, friends and neighbours in this surreal time of crisis we are continually being reminded of the true essence of what it is to live in a caring community.
How can each of us not feel truly blessed by the good works of those around us, the acts of heroism, the friendly smiles and words, and the tireless, almost superhuman efforts of those toiling away inside the central city cordon?
The speed at which a core group of countries of the world, so undeniably our finest friends, reacted with unconditional generosity and genuineness speaks volumes about their international humanitarian commitment & their compassion. They have treated our sadness as their sadness and have made available resources beyond our own nation’s ability to muster. Words cannot fully convey our collective appreciation. They responded to our city’s grief and shock with a moving sense of global compassion as well as with a practical contribution of highly trained urban search and rescue personnel.
A growing number of well-known corporations were also very quick to put their hands up with substantial donations and offers of help. They did not need to be cajoled into action – they just did it. Fonterra trucked in hundreds of thousands of litres of fresh water, banks, petroleum companies and others donated millions of dollars collectively. Air New Zealand put on very cheap flights to and from Christchurch to destinations nationwide. Corporate New Zealand stepped up to the plate and should be applauded by us with all our might for doing so. Their actions are as significant as any others.
Politicians have even behaved with dignity and put aside differences to concentrate on the needs of our people. Strong leadership has been shown and the job of dealing with the aftermath of this country’s greatest ever disaster has been expedited by close cooperation between the various agencies and rescue entities. A truly well- choreographed response with frequent information releases to keep us all fully briefed. There is a profound sense of involvement for everybody.
The efforts of our young people are something that I believe will be talked about for many years. The ‘Student Army’, numbering over 15,000 people, has fanned out across the city doing the back-breaking, sweaty work of shovelling up and wheelbarrowing thousands of tones of silt from liquefaction that has covered suburban residents’ lawns, driveways, backyards and streets. These volunteers have not only done the work of an army they have also brought great happiness and good cheer to the many thousands of people who have benefited from their work.
It behoves me to state that if these young men and women are the measure of the next generation of Cantabrians then Christchurch will be a fantastic city of incredible people of outstanding character capable of great things. There is huge hope for the future with such individuals leading us and working amongst us. I trust, hope and pray that as many of them as possible stay to help rebuild Christchurch as they will be such an asset.
No comment on the Christchurch Earthquake would be complete without a mention of the enormous level of assistance offered and given to us by our Australian friends. Julia Gillard was the first international leader to pledge support by deploying search and rescue experts followed later by over 300 State and Federal police, the latter to help with everything from manning cordons to street patrols and other work. They have done sterling work.
Lastly, of course, I want to pay a tribute of the highest order to all the USAR people from 10 or more countries who have brought hope and support to us all as they’ve toiled day and night in the CBD in an effort to find our friends and relatives who have been trapped in collapsed buildings. How can we ever thank them? Add to these search & rescue superstars the fast, efficient and well-organised NZ Army personnel, the calm and well-prepared NZ Police, the internationally admired Civil Defence team, the world-class NZ Fire Service and the many non-governmental groups like the Salvation Army.
There is a spirit prevailing in this place at this time. Yes, our homes and buildings have been shaken, rattled and in some cases rolled but as Cantabrians we will rebuild and we will unfailingly look to the future to re-establish what has been lost. We can all be proud of one another as we have held the fabric of our town together through kindness, love and goodness of heart. Let that continue and we will surely prevail.
Mon 28th Feb 2011 05:23pm
Nicely said Mr Lu
Girls Night Out
Mon 28th Feb 2011 05:44pm
I agree. Nicely said Mr Lu
Mon 28th Feb 2011 05:53pm
Beautifully said. In the aftermath of this tragic event, the response to it does make me incredibly proud of being a New Zealander.
Thu 10th Mar 2011 05:02pm
Mr Lu, your sentiments are enough to bring a tear to my eye. The mammoth efforts made by so many selfless people certainly has restored my faith in humanity. I'm damn proud of being a Cantabrian and a Kiwi.
Sun 20th Mar 2011 03:32pm
Mr Lu, you have, in a few short paragraghs fully voiced the feelings of 1005 on Cantabrians. I am immensely proud to be one of them.
Sun 20th Mar 2011 03:33pm
oops..sorry that should have been 100%...not 1005. Sorry :(
Tue 22nd Mar 2011 04:58pm
Mr Lu ...you are an absolute wag and indeed a generous fellow...Biggles and all others who have read a copy of Boys Own Annual would be proud of you !!!. The Garden City has been knocked down but is not out ! Like a Phoenix from the Ashes we will rise again ! After you wrote your impressive article the "Farmy Army " also helped out . This large group of country folk like our fantastic students helped soften the misery and sadness particiularly in the Eastern suburbs. The spirit and passion which was evident when this very web site was under seige,some time ago from an unrepentant competitor, repeats itself.... this time in the shape of very caring diners ...We are so fortunate to have had so many concerned people from all over the country show their feelings ....and Lou'y old boy ,you're a gem....
dineout !...and be hearty...!!
Fri 8th Apr 2011 08:38pm
Hello Mr Lu,
I've just submitted a review for one of the restaurants "out east" so put me in the draw for your generous $250 prize, which my husband and I promise to spend eating out at other places on the east side of the city (where we live). Mr Lu you rock!!
Add your comment
You must login to leave a comment