Waiata at the Peace Bell

12 Mar 2021

Thirty-five College choir boys sang two waiata on Thursday 11 March at the annual ceremony of remembrance at the World Peace Bell in Christchurch’s Botanic Gardens.

Held to commemorate the anniversaries of both the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes and the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the ceremony included speeches by the Japanese Consul in Christchurch Tanigawa Masaya, Christchurch City Council representative Milinda Peris, and Dean Martyn Percy.

The boys, with Director of Music Robert Aburn and Nicholas Sutcliffe, made an instant impression, singing outdoors to the throng of people, Japanese and New Zealanders, who stood around the bell for the simple yet important ceremony.

The College boys were invited to strike the peace bell, whose sound reverberated strongly, bringing to a close a moving ceremony recalling how both Japan and New Zealand had major natural disasters at a similar time, how both countries co-operated in sending rescuers to each other, and how those lost and their families are forever remembered.

Mr Tanigawa said even though both island countries are in opposite hemispheres, his fervent hope was that the spirit of co-operation in international society remained as steadfast and firm today.