At 12:51 pm on 22 February 2011, the most devastating earthquake that Christchurch has ever experienced struck and claimed 185 lives. Of these, four of the victims’ remains could not be found. On 21 February 2012, the Christchurch City Council unveiled the internment site (“Earthquake Memorial”). This is now the final resting place for the four victims with unfound remains. The outer circles around the Earthquake Memorial are there for the remains of the other victims of the 2011 earthquake, if that is their families’ wish.
The Earthquake Memorial makes the Avonhead Cemetery a site of international significance, as 88 foreign nationals from more than 20 countries died in the earthquake. Each year, visitors from all around the world come to pay their tributes at the Earthquake Memorial.
On the sixth anniversary of the earthquake in 2017, representatives of the Sonoda Womens’ University from Hyogo, Japan held a minute’s silence and laid flowers at the Earthquake Memorial with local residents.
The FoAC is committed to safeguarding the sanctity of the Earthquake Memorial and commemorating its significance with the local community and international visitors so that the memories of those who lost their lives in the 2011 earthquake remains fresh in our minds.