I was amongst the first groups of people to walk to what we once knew as our Cathedral Square.

I wanted to see the wreckage of the Cathedral for myself, it being the centre-piece of the city where I have spent most of my 68 years.  It also featured prominently in out tram drivers’ spiel.  It was the best-known symbol of our city, along with the heritage trams.

A Cathedral staff member once told me an overseas visitor had said to him, ‘This is a church for all people.’  An excellent compliment indeed.

Walking into the Square for the first time since the February 22 earthquake was a sombre experience.  The Christchurch Cathedral had been a monument to permanence.  How could it have been struck with such vengeance by an earthquake?  I looked at the grim broken tower, thinking about times I had climbed to the balconies on the spire to photograph the central city and our trams, appearing like mechanical snails.  It was always a scary experience climbing the top steps on an eerie wood ladder.  I peered  from the top with trepidation, feeling a tad braver concentrating on my photography.  Luckily no-one was up there when it toppled in February.

Keen to get a graphic photograph of the wrecked Cathedral I was lucky to have a mission to dominate my emotions.  The organisers of the walk though had had the good sense to place a waist-high fence along the Cathedral frontage, making it ideal for viewing and photography.

Eventually I walked back to the container city mall.  It was time for coffee, to review my digital images, and set emotions towards a future city which will once again be a magnet for visitors – and a new brilliant, stronger, Christchurch Cathedral and our colourful heritage tramcars being key components of the new future.Image