I am not a native Cantabrian, but I have lived here for over 10 years and settled down and made this city my home. I do not have the emotional attachment to many of the old buildings that have been damaged and demolished since the Feb22 earthquake, but there is one iconic building that everybody in CHCH knows. Its the one all the tourists flock to, and the building they announced is coming down today.
The Christchurch Cathedral in the heart of Cathedral Square – known as the Square to the locals because, well, the Cathedral bit is self evident. It is not the tallest building (in fact its surrounded by many taller ones. But it is a building with character, style, gravitas and in its own way, beauty. A building that will be sadly missed by many in the city.
Nearly 5 years ago I started my current job, which was situated in a building on the edge of the Square. The Cathedral became an ever present part of my day, it was the view out the window, walked in front or passed it several times a day. I never went fully inside, only in the entrance once for a quick look, and I regret this now. I am not a religous person and not comfortable with church people, but I appreciate it for what it was and what it offered to the populace.
The thing I will miss most is the bells. On Tuesday evenings they would ring the bells. Real bellringers, people, not a machine. It used to amuse me when they got their timing wrong. So many evenings, warm summer ones, or cold frosty winter ones, as I was working late and walking to my carpark, I would stop and listen and enjoy the bells.
They did save them, although I believe some were damaged and need to be repaired. For me, the silence that the bells leave cannot be filled.
This is my tribute to the Cathedral
Photos taken in Sept 2010