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Service for Christchurch held in Timor-Leste

NZ troops and Australian troops, along with police and officials serving in East Timor have gathered at the main New Zealand forces base in Dili to hold a service for the victims of the devastating Christchurch earthquake.
NZ troops and Australian troops, along with police and officials serving in East Timor have gathered at the main New Zealand forces base in Dili to hold a service for the victims of the devastating Christchurch earthquake. (photo courtesy ADF)

01 March 2011

New Zealand troops, police and other officials serving in East Timor gathered at the main New Zealand forces base in Dili this week to hold a service for the victims of the devastating Christchurch earthquake.

Joined by Australians from the International Stabilisation Force, the congregation prayed for the lost, for alleviation of the suffering of survivors, and to ask for strength for those helping the city from the tragic consequences of the disaster.

Many of the New Zealanders serving in East Timor are from the Christchurch area, which made the service a very personal bridge between their duties in Southeast Asia and their family and friends back home.

During the service Major Ian Lattimore spoke to the congregation about  the difficulty of watching the reports from Christchurch.

“I know this week many of us have been asking ourselves what we are  doing so far away when our own nation is dealing with an enormous tragedy,” he said.

“I ask you to try and remember in this wrenching time that we still have a job here to do – it is the nature of New Zealand to help others.

“Timor still requires our presence here, as do the other nations our service people are currently in.”

After the service Corporal Paul Hadley from Hornby took the opportunity to send a message to the people of Christchurch.

“As somebody from Christchurch I would like to say that my heart and thoughts are with them in their time of need,” he said. “I know everyone here in East Timor gives you their full support.”

 Ends

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