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Cathedral Square focus for tsunami Memorial Day in Christchurch

13 January 2005

Christchurch will stand alongside the rest of New Zealand on Sunday’s national Memorial Day, as it remembers the victims of Boxing Day’s earthquake and tsunami at a special open-air service in Cathedral Square at 1.15pm.

The inter-faith service will include the nationwide minute of silence at 1.59pm, the time the earthquake struck. It will give the people of Christchurch, regardless of their faith or culture, the opportunity to remember the more than 150,000 people who lost their lives and show their support for those who survived. Representatives from the cultures and communities worst affected by the disaster will take part in the service, with opportunities for everyone to express their sorrow and support.

The bells of Christ Church Cathedral will ring out at 1.58pm ahead of the minute of silence across the city. This will be followed by time to lay wreaths, flowers or other small items in memory of those affected by the tsunami around the 18 metre high Chalice in the heart of the Square.

The Cathedral has announced it will also hold an evening memorial service for the victims of the tsunami on Sunday at 7pm for “people of all faiths and none.”

Christchurch City Council continues to accept cash donations for tsunami victims on behalf of the Red Cross at its Civic Offices in Tuam Street and at Council Service Centres at Beckenham, Fendalton, Linwood, Papanui, Riccarton, Shirley and Sockburn. Opening hours vary but all locations are open weekdays from 9am to 5pm.

· In the event of wet weather, the service will be held inside Christchurch Cathedral.

· Parking restrictions will be in force in the immediate area around the Cathedral. Christchurch City Council recommends that people planning to attend the service use public transport or take advantage of the special one hour of free parking at Lichfield Street, The Crossing, Farmers and Manchester Street car parks.

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