Christchurch visit an eye-opener...

I visited Christchurch on the South Island of New Zeland from March 11 to 20 to speak at the Lions Club of Christchurch South's District Convention, a fundraiser for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and a couple of schools. (See photos and details on my facebook page). My visit was a stunning reminder of the on-going effects of the 2011 earthquake. Nothing brought home the devastation of the event quite like the temporary art installation called '185 Empty Chairs'. The artist has chosen 185 different chairs and painted them brilliant white, each one symbolising a person who died in the Canterbury earthquake on February 22, 2011. The visit to Christchurch was a shocking reminder that the city is still very much in the midst of dealing with the consequences of the earthquake and will be for many years to come.

ABOVE: This is the information at the site explaining the significance of the art installation called '185 Empty Chairs'.

There are three 'chairs' at the Christchurch site representing babies who died in the earthquake. Notice the still damaged buildings and construction work going on in the background. Re-building Christchurch is still an on-going process that is expected to take another 10 to 15 years.

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