Telescope Gone — But History Survives

For over 100 years, residents of Christchurch, New Zealand were blessed to have access an operational, world-class telescope right in the heart of the city. The telescope was built in 1864 by Thomas Cooke and Sons of York, England, one of the best instrument designers of the time. It was then gifted to Canterbury College, as it was called back then, in 1891. The Townsend Observatory was constructed and opened in 1896. Since then, regular viewing was open to the public — until a 7.1 earthquake struck Canterbury on September 4, 2010.

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Robbie the Road Cone

Recently, I sent out a request for others to share their memories of the Christchurch earthquakes that occurred five years ago. To my pleasant surprise, some have come forward with stories so moving that I felt it was important to share them with the world. Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of the stories sent to me about that day as well as sharing a few of my own. The February 2011 quake changed our lives forever, but has made the city of Christchurch a stronger community.

This delightful story is one that all children in Christchurch would adore.

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Bexley in Fear — Remembering February 22, 2011

Recently, I sent out a request for others to share their memories of the Christchurch earthquakes that occurred five years ago. To my pleasant surprise, some have come forward with stories so moving that I felt it was important to share them with the world. Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of the stories sent to me about that day as well as sharing a few of my own. The February 2011 quake changed our lives forever, but has made the city of Christchurch a stronger community.

Below is a poem from Jennifer Wilson, detailing her horrifying experience from her home which was located in the suburb of Bexley.

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Mother Earth Roars and We Listen…

When Mother Earth decides to make her presence known, we must listen.
We humans are nothing but ants on her skin.
She stretches, the ground moves. She roars, and we hear nothing else.

Mother Nature knows when things are not right.
Silence precedes the dog's barking and the sparrow's flight.
Then her mouth opens and the city falls.

Alarms of man overshadow the screams.
The heart races and fear is all you know.
You have no control, just clinging for life, praying for it to end.

Then silence again. It's unbearable.
You can't move, waiting for it to strike again.
You know it's coming. You've been through this before.
And it does.

I hear you, dear Mother. Please let me live.

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Juggling

I’m a writer… Juggling is a necessity.

It’s the life of every working mother, to become the taxi driver. Let’s face it, my son is currently 14, a freshman in high school, and fills his free time with swimming training, archery and scouts, and of course computer games, but I’m not going to talk about those. My 10-year-old daughter, just starting junior high, does ballet, contemporary, scouts, art, kapahaka, and until recently guitar and swimming. And this says nothing of my own activities: writers’ groups, committee meetings, scout leader… (Wait… I’m not a scout leader anymore. I have my Thursday nights back, but I’m sure I’m missing something.) There are days when I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.Read More