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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Residents urged to take The Pledge

Residents urged to take The Pledge

Last updated 10:45 20/03/2011
Christchurch people are being asked to pledge their support to the rebuilding of the city in a move designed to show Canterbury is standing firm.

The pledge is the brainchild of Christchurch lawyer Garth Galloway, who has lived in Christchurch for 10 years and is passionate about the city and its survival.

After the quake he became frustrated at hearing talk of people leaving Christchurch for good.

"Everyone who has been here during the last six months understands the fear but what does running achieve and where do you run to?" Galloway said.

It was while watching a TV interview with Clemency Mutze, who was pulled from the fifth floor of the CTV building, that he came up with the idea of getting people to pledge their support to staying and helping with the rebuilding of the city and region.

"The interview with Clemency finished with her saying she would remain in Christchurch.

"Similarly, a friend of mine lost his wife in the earthquake, a beautiful mother of two who was hit by falling masonry.

"He moved his children back into the damaged family home on Saturday and is staying put," Galloway said.

Inspired by their fortitude in the face of such adversity, he decided to set up a pledge whereby people could voice their commitment to the city and the region.

The pledge was not binding but simply a way for people to express their intentions at this particular time.

"There are so many people who don't know how to express their love for the city or the fact they want to stay put. This gives them the chance to make that emotional and spiritual commitment," said Galloway.

Local printing company Rainbow Print had thrown its weight behind the project, as had The Press newspaper, and the idea was that copies of the pledge would be circulated around the region over the next four to six weeks.

At the end of that period all the signed copies would be bound together in a leather book and presented to the mayor and the city council.

"I am not aware of this ever having been done before. It's exciting and is something the people of the region can do. I think it will make a difference," said Galloway. "It is important we show resolve and commit ourselves to this city as much as we can."

The first signing of the pledge will take place at 12.51pm on March 22 - exactly one month since the devastating 6.3 quake struck - outside the Canterbury Museum.

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