Regulus Address // Issue 3 // August 2019
It is spring, the blossom is out, and summer is on the way. What a glorious time of year.
On a sunny, early October afternoon I was walking in the central city and for the first time since the earthquakes experienced the vibe of a city again. It was an emotional moment, a turning point following years of recovery effort and investment by so many committed and courageous people and institutions. There was no roadmap to follow and it has been a most challenging, and at times tortuous, journey with inevitable setbacks and mistakes. While there is still much to do, for me this spring and summer marks the beginning of a new era of optimism for Christchurch where there is more potential and opportunity than ever before.
I find it challenging thinking about the tragic events of 15 March, particularly how life goes on and that for most of us things got back to normal pretty quickly. In many ways, this is understandable and helps us to cope in the face of such abominable circumstances. I run a bit and Hagley Park is where I love to stretch my legs.
My route takes me past the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue, where today there are no longer any physical signs of that fateful day. As time goes by, it feels more and more surreal. Did that really happen here in New Zealand, in our city, to our people? I think about the victims, their families, and friends. And I think about how we felt at the time, the way in which the community came together and the commitments we made to ourselves and each other to be more inclusive, to embrace humanity, and to treat ourselves and each other with greater kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. We learnt about us that day and we must never forget those lessons. We must never forget that some will bear the scars forever and need our continuing love, compassion, and goodwill to rebuild their lives, and to feel safe in our community once again.
Over the past nine years, we as a city and community have faced great adversity. It has been tough, people have suffered, and continue to suffer. However, I believe on the whole we are better and stronger for these experiences, that we can have confidence in our future, and especially in our ability to deal with whatever comes our way. A silver lining of kindness, strength, and resilience which will serve us and our city so well in the years ahead.
In September, the College came together to celebrate the ordination of Paul Morrow. It was a special occasion and a personal privilege to join the official party, at Paul’s invitation, alongside Rev. Anne Stewart, Moderator of the Alpine Presbytery, and Rector Christine Leighton. Paul was appointed to the position of College Chaplain in 2011 and I think it came as a surprise to many to learn he was not an ordained Minister. It is of great credit to the Presbytery that they supported Paul’s appointment at the time, changing their rules so he could take up the role while continuing his education and training. So now it is Rev. Paul Morrow, continuing to serve God and the St Andrew’s College community officially! The Board is so grateful for Paul and the role he plays at the very heart and soul of the College.
There is much to look forward to in Christchurch, and St Andrew’s College, as we work together in support of our strategic direction, Framing our Future. We are committed to continuously improving the St Andrew’s College experience, pursuing our mission to build better people for life and, in so doing, playing our part in the future prosperity and well-being of our wonderful city and region.
As the festive season approaches and summer holidays beckon, my best wishes, on behalf of the Board of Governors, to all for a positive end to 2019, and a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.
He aroha whakatō, he aroha puta mai.
If kindness is sown, then kindness you shall receive.
On behalf of the Board of Governors