Oneroa Vigil Oneroa Vigil for Christchurch
Oneroa Vigil for Christchurch Photo by Nigel Cooper

The community has continued to gather to mark the tragedy of the terrorist attack in Christchurch and to raise funds for those affected.

A vigil was held at Oneroa Beach last Wednesday evening, 20 March to pay tribute to those who died in Christchurch the previous Friday. Flowers brought along from people’s gardens were arranged into a heart shape. People drew close to hear Huhana Davis as she led the vigil. Towards the end, those gathered joined hands and formed a circle around the heart of flowers.

On Saturday 23 March, Bill and Jo Dellow held the Open Arms Dinner to bring people together and raise funds for those affected by the tragedy. 

The Dellows’ staff, chef and members of the community volunteered their time to prepare and serve the meal. Sponsors donated ingredients, while others lent their kitchen cookers, bowls and plates. The event raised $1607.

“A huge thank you to all of the people of Waiheke who attended and made it such a successful fundraising event for Christchurch,” says Bill. 

Sue Philcox went to the dinner and says it was a wonderful evening with lovely food, drinks and company. 

“What a true and kind spirit the Dellows have towards all human kind,” says Sue. “Their generous dinner and drinks was a wonderful way to get like-minded people on Waiheke together to say love can overcome hate, and raise money for the victims of the Christchurch shooting. The Dellows showed the power of love.”

Meanwhile, nine-year-old Tai Rippingale has been making biscuits since the Christchurch event. 

“We’ve been making batches of biscuits and dropping them off to people and started our own little fundraiser that links straight to the national fund,” says Tai’s mum Jane. Tai’s biscuits have raised around $300. “We just tried to put some love out into the community,” says Jane. •

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