Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lights Candle in Memory of Earthquake Victims

Justin Hodges, seven-year old St Michael's student, plays at a service attended by the Hon. Kevin Rudd.

26 Mar 2011

A Friday afternoon Lenten service at St Michael’s and All Angels Church had a special air of solemnity and celebration with presence of Victoria Matthews, Bishop of Christchurch, and the Hon. Kevin Rudd, Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs. The students of St Michael’s School attended the service which was led by Bishop Victoria.

As part of the service, Mr Rudd lit a candle in memory of those who died in the 22 February earthquake. The congregation was also treated to a violin solo by seven-year old St Michael’s student, Justin Hodges, playing ‘Humoresque’ by Antonin Dvorak.

Following the service Mr Rudd and the Bishop proceeded next door to the school, where he read to a class of students and interacted briefly with several before continuing his tour of the CBD. St Michael’s and All Angels is the only Anglican church still standing and usable following the 22 February earthquake.

St Michael’s, the oldest school in Christchurch, emphasises Christian faith and nurture in all its activities. The school’s Stone Building was damaged in the quake and safely cordoned off, so that students and staff were able to return on 16 March.

Mr Rudd’s humanitarian visit to New Zealand exemplifies our close relationship with Australia, recently highlighted in the attendance of Ms Quentin Bryce, Governor General, the Hon. Julia Gillard, Prime Minister, and the Hon. Tony Abbott, the Leader of the Opposition, at the Christchurch Memorial Service on 18 March.

Additional images from Mr Rudd’s visit to St Michael’s are available at:

www.nzpaimages.co.nz/events.php?event_id=12167&show_all=0&page_no=0