19/03/2019 3:47:00 p.m.
19 March 2019
Civic memorial to support Muslim community in Rotorua
A memorial at Rotorua’s Lakefront on Friday will be the only civic remembrance opportunity for the community.
The event is for the Rotorua community to come together in support of the local Muslim community.
The one-hour vigil is being organised by the Rotorua Muslim Community in association with the Rotorua Multicultural Council and Rotorua Lakes Council.
The event will be a time for reflection and for the community to unify and show its support following last Friday’s horrific attacks in Christchurch.
Originally to have been held at Te Manawa, the venue has changed to the Lakefront to provide more space. It will start at 2.30pm.
“We’re all still very much feeling the impact of what happened in Christchurch and people want to show their support and aroha and want to be together,” Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick says.
“Some people were able to attend last Saturday’s vigil at Tamatekapua, others have shown their love by leaving flowers at our local Islamic Centre and some workplaces have held their own vigils. In terms of a wider community gathering, I expect many people will take this opportunity on Friday to express their feelings and show their support and aroha.”
Council staff are helping to organise the event, and set up and run the venue. The police are also involved and are supportive of the event.
“We’ve been speaking with representatives from the Muslim community and our local multicultural society since the weekend to work through an appropriate way for Rotorua people to come together,” Mayor Chadwick says.
“We needed to ensure it was right for our Muslim community and we hope to see you all there.”
Rotorua Multicultural Council president Margriet Theron says the event is a great way for the community to come together.
“We are a multicultural society and this is a way for us to connect and show our support for the Muslim community.
“This will be a time to reflect on what has happened and also reflect on the good things which have come out of the terrible event.”
Those attending are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets as seating is not available.
Collection buckets will also be available for those wanting to donate to the victims.