My Favourite Window

March 11, 2012

Farewell Walk to Christchurch Cathedral













































14 comments:

John Gray said...

I watched the footage from cctv cameras of the square a second or so after the quake only yesterday...
so sad.....
mind you looking at what could have happened I am amazed that so many people survived it.
thinking of you all at this time
x

Jeneane said...

Thanks for your thoughts John.
That footage is like something out of a disaster movie isn't it.
The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery
Authority has made this farewell walk possible, slotting it between demolition jobs. This is the first time I've been in to this area since early 2011. There is a Marie Celeste quality to the place and a poignancy - the heart advertising a sale reminds us that Valentines Day had just passed, and Macdonalds showing, along with its February clearance, its earlier September safety rating. Sobering stuff.

The Sagittarian said...

Hi Lady M - I went for that walk on Saturday afternoon, the first time I had been near the place since 22 February. Very like the Marie Celeste for sure...my dad was a bell ringer in the Cathedral many years ago and it is so sad to see the ol' girl like that. As our city has lost so much I am not surprised that people want to try and salvage something from here.

Dyk Jewell said...

Words are not needed. It must be so devastating for Cantabrians to see this symbol of their city in ruins. But it will rise again. I grew up near Plymouth. St. Andrews Church there was badly damaged by bombing during the Second World War. The morning after the devastation somebody (Wikipaedia says a headmistress - I understood it was the verger) nailed a wooden sign simply saying Resurgam. And it did.

Dyk Jewell said...

Don't know how I managed to post a second time. Must make it twice as meaningful.

Jeneane said...

Hi Saj, I thought you would make the journey too. You have mentioned your father's bell-ringing before, and I suspect he would have taken you up there to show you the ropes, giving the spire special significance for you.
It was interesting to see that people although reverent did not show open distress as many of us have done in the past year whenever we were faced with new realisation of loss. Maybe we have done with the tears and went into the stolen space with strong hearts.

Dyk, it's good to have your story of St Andrews. Sometimes knowing what it feels like to lose Life's landmarks, I think of the strength and resolution of Wartime Britain -
and know that Canterbury will recover.

Jeneane said...

Dyk, never mind the doubling-up. That's what the Delete button on our Comments feed page is for - well that and Spam!

Being Me said...

Phew, wow. There is something incredibly profound about viewing your photos without words to crowd the scenes. That last one.... especially profound.

Thank you for this silent journey.

Jeneane said...

Yes Kerrily, I thought the photos told the story well enough on their own too, knowing there would be room here in this Comments forum to explain a few things.

The Citizens' War Memorial looks so strange against that great white wall where something has been demolished. I only noticed once I was preparing the photo for posting, that the angel, who is about to break the sword of war, is carefully padded and strapped to the cross to prevent her falling. The lower three figures take on new significance representing Hope, Sacrifice and Valour: all qualities that have come to the fore since the Earthquakes began.

About Last Weekend said...

That is so so sad...I had such good memories cycling past the beautiful cathedral when I was at journalism school there

the cuby poet said...

Such a sad event to lose an iconic building such as the cathedral. Is a new cathedral to be built in the same place? Thinking of you as memories of that fateful event flood back.

Jeneane said...

About Last Weekend: Lots of memories. It seems such a pathetic piece of school book history now to remember that the Cathedral Spire was damaged and rebuilt in earlier earthquakes.

the cuby poet: It certainly is sad.
It's interesting to think that although the Cathedral was conceived during the settlement period as a centre piece for the new Anglican city, our society is no longer specifically a Christian one. So the site belongs to the Church and they will decide on rebuilding, yet the people of Christchurch feel that the Cathedral and its space has broader significance.

libby said...

Oh that last photo is fabulous..such wonderful statues.

Jeneane said...

There is something about the 1930s aesthetic that enobles the human figure in sculpture. William Trethewey, the sculptor, certainly expressed that pared down sense of line and form beautifully. According to Wikipedia the central figure representing Peace, is modelled on the sculptor's daughter. It's ironic that although the message of Hope for an end to War hovers taught in the bent sword, only two years later War was back.