Monday, July 15, 2024

Chch quake memorial spurs push for Mt Erebus air crash monument

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NAMES: There is presently no public memorial to the Mt Erebus accident where all 257 names are displayed together. Photo supplied.

Advocates for a national memorial for the 257 people who lost their lives in the 1979 Mt Erebus air accident have commended the organisation and work for the recently unveiled Christchurch Earthquake National Memorial.

They believe it is an “excellent example” of what can be done with hard work, creativity, national and local Government endorsement, and wide public support, and look forward to similar support for the planning of the Mt Erebus air accident national memorial for the 40th anniversary on November 28, 2019.

Erebus National Memorial spokesperson, Rev Dr Richard Waugh, of Howick, said the Christchurch earthquake memorial is an attractive design, accessible, not in a cemetery, and a special place to display all the names of the earthquake victims.

“I have had many Erebus families contact me saying, “Did you see the Christchurch memorial. That’s what we can do to have all names together, in such a special way”.

There is presently no public memorial to the Erebus accident where all 257 names are displayed together. The Mt Erebus air accident with 257 fatalities – 237 passengers and 20 crew – is still New Zealand’s worst civil disaster and the worst aviation accident in the Southern Hemisphere.

Advocacy and planning has began last year for a national memorial for the Mt Erebus air accident. Dr Waugh said significant discussions are being held with the Government through the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, and with “other people and interested organisations”.

“New Zealand as a nation continues to be profoundly affected by the Mt Erebus tragedy and it is a pastoral and public oversight that nothing has yet been done to establish a national memorial to the Mt Erebus accident victims, especially for the many families involved,” Dr Waugh said.

“There is such relevance and power in having all the names appropriately displayed and honoured.

“We see that at memorials on Anzac Day and we saw it yesterday in Christchurch. The Erebus families need and deserve a significant place where they, and the public, can gather for special remembering.”

See website www.erebusnationalmemorial.nz. Erebus families and others are encouraged to register their interest on the website.

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