Issue 17, February 22 - March 7, 2017
(caption for the above picture, which is courtesy Joy Kochakkan/ JK images: The fires on Port Hills started from two different locations on February 13, and later merged. Status as on almost a week later, February 20, early morning, was that the fire covered an area of 2075 hectares. The perimeter was about 35km. Approximately 69% of this was confirmed as controlled. During the week, hundreds were evacuated and the number of confirmed destroyed structures stood at 11 houses and two large sheds. The City also lost a war hero Steve Askin, when his helicopter crashed on the Hills during the fire fighting efforts.)
Our front page says it all. A big thank you to all the courageous fire fighters, civil defence personnel, police officers and armed forces!
While elected officials have faced some brickbats from few quarters on handling of the Port Hills fires, I think they deserve our gratitude too.
Hopefully the deficiencies, as noted by some, would be rectified sooner than later.
This also gives me an opportunity to call on people from ethnic communities to find more ways to contribute towards their new adopted home.
Join the fire service, participate in civil defence, take part in community patrol and neighbourhood watch.
Or as our interview with Citizens Advice Bureau's Christchurch manager Mollie indicates, become a trained volunteer for CAB and help disseminate useful information to other migrants and Kiwis.
Do whatever suits you. But, please do something. Become involved. The community needs you, and you need the community.
A big shout out to all those who participate and organise the Christchurch Global Football Festival year after year. It's their dedication and love for the "beautiful game", which has made this Festival the most awaited sports event among the ethnic communities of Canterbury. Though I must note that the Queenstown Falcons came all the way from the resort town to participate in the tournament. But they are a team of Brazilians, whose love for football is unmatched in any case.
Finally, the Indian festival of Holi is just round the corner. The organising team has done a wonderful job, and the City Council also pitched in making it a free event this time. Well done guys and gals.
See you all on the 4th!