Sitting here in the office, reflecting on the events of last month. So much has happened across our Zone since the last newsletter; measles outbreak, fires, floods and the terror attack on the two mosques in Christchurch, where a gunman killed 50 people and changed the lives of many people forever.
Listening to the national memorial service held in Hagley Park, on Friday, 29 March 2019, the words of the Prime Minister really rang true and I paraphrase them here;
"In the days that have followed... we have often found ourselves without words. What words adequately express the pain …” Ardern said.
"What words express the grief of a city that has already known so much pain? I thought there were none, but then I came here, and I was met with a simple greeting: asalamu alaykum, peace be upon you."
The Prime Minister suggested the attack was a wake-up call for New Zealand and that every New Zealander has a responsibility to reject racism and embrace diversity. “These stories, they now form part of our collective memories, they will remain with us forever... But with that memory comes a responsibility... to be the place that we wish to be, a place that is diverse, that is welcoming, kind and compassionate."
“And we remember, that ours is a home that does not and cannot claim perfection. But we can strive to be true to the words embedded in our national anthem";
Men of every creed and race,
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place
God defend our free land
From dissension, envy, hate
And corruption, guard our state
Make our country good and great
God Defend New Zealand
I leave this with you, we are not perfect but diversity, compassion and kindness towards each other will stand our sport, community and New Zealand in good stead.