From Nancy Jean Whitehead...

Dear Friends
This is the message I wrote 6 years ago for the Newsletter May 2011. As I re-read it I realised how little I need to change to make it just as relevant today as it was then. The second paragraph of course refers to the Christchurch earthquake of February 2011 but if I change just a few words it will just as well reflect the Hurunui / Kaikoura earthquake of November 2016. So in the spirit of re-cycling here it is again.

Easter is over, Anzac Day is over and autumn changes are happening all around us. It is at this time of year that we are particularly aware of the movement of the seasons. The spectacular colour of the autumn leaves and the quite rapid appearance of bare branches remind us that the seasons and our lives move on.

The last few months have been quite extraordinary and very different from anything any of us have
experienced before. On one level life goes on as normal, but nothing is quite the same. While we
Amberley, Hawarden and Cheviot have been relatively unscathed by the November earthquake there are still many anxious and stressed people in our community.

Maybe it is a good thing that we are moving into the season when we tend to slow down a little. It gives us time to reflect on the events of the past few months and to begin to think a little about the future. This for me is what Anzac Day is about. We gather to remember those who have died fighting for their country and for what they believed was right. They went to war to try to make the world a better place for future generations. But Anzac Day is also about the future. It is about our hope that our children and grandchildren will never have to fight in a World War and that future generations will learn the art of peace-making and understanding. It is also about building communities where we care for one another.

As we move on into this year and wonder what it will bring, let us take time to enjoy the sunny days, keep warm on the cold and miserable days and look after ourselves and our neighbours.