Vigils in South for mosque victims

Vigils are being held in Dunedin and Oamaru on Saturday, and Queenstown next week. Photo: Getty...
Vigils are being held in Dunedin and Oamaru on Saturday, and Queenstown next week. Photo: Getty Images
Vigils in parts of the South have been planned to commemorate lives lost in the Christchurch mosque killings.

In Dunedin, people were welcome to attend a  a candlelight vigil in the Octagon tonight at 8pm.

Outside the Otago Farmers Market this morning, Joseph Dougherty was posting a sign.

"I'm sure other people have had the same idea,'' he said. "I think we all need to demonstrate compassion to people who have suffered.''

The vigil would also show solidarity with those of the Islamic faith in New Zealand.

"They are welcome, they are accepted,'' Mr Dougherty said.

A second vigil would be held on Thursday at 7pm in the Octagon.

It was being organised by the Amnesty Otago Students Society with support from other groups including Dunedin's Al Huda Mosque.

St Luke's Church. Photo: ODT files
St Luke's Church. Photo: ODT files
Meanwhile, a gathering would also be held tonight in Oamaru, while another is planned for Queenstown next week.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said Safer Waitaki was working with the Waitaki Multicultural Council and other ethnic groups to support the local Muslim community.

“I have arranged with the combined churches to hold a vigil this evening, our flags are flying at half-mast.

"I've contacted [Christchurch] Mayor Lianne Dalziel offering whatever assistance we can give to Christchurch,” Mr Kircher said.

The vigil would be held at St Luke’s Church in Oamaru at 7pm.

St Patrick's Basilica in Oamaru will also be open at 2pm tomorrow, when Father Wayne Healey will say a few words.

“All will be welcome at both churches, whether you're religious or not, Mr Kircher said.

“These are for our community, and they're opportunities for us to show our support.”

In Central Otago, a service would be held at the Clyde Railway Station Domain at 1pm tomorrow. The 30-minute service would include music, prayer and support for residents.

In Queenstown, a vigil would be held at the lakefront on Wednesday at 7pm.

Queenstown Dhama Centre was also holding a compassion practice at 2pm today to share “love and compassion” for those affected.


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