|The Cathedral in December 2011.|
How do you make any sense of what is a resonably emotive yet practical situation. In my mind it needs to have a bit of logic applied;
Some facts we would all agree on. (OK not all of us but any Southern bloke would!);
1. We are all gutted it needs to come down (Cantabrians, Kiwi's, visitors, the Anglican Church, the parishoners, the council, architects, the cleaners who cleaned it, the cathedral cat, the choir, the wizard, the army of contractors who kept it in good nick......we're all gutted, disappointed and sad.....ok got it!) that a really awesome iconic Cathedral is broken. We after all have grown up with it. It's on every post card ever sold. That damn earthquake it has broken a lot of kit!
2. It is a blessing no one was killed in that Cathedral in Febuary of 2011. Trapped and hurt yes, but no one was killed. But they could have easily been, so some safer design or materials need to be considered to allow it to withstand future earthquakes. Its just got to happen!
|The central city skyline has changed ince then. Taken in late 2011 from the estuary.|
2. It is really buggered! You don't have to be an Engineer to realise it would cost many millions to build something like it again, and more to try and fix it! Its a tough decision and one that right when your Lawyers, Accountants, Insurance company etc are advising that the logical thing cost wise is to replace it, the church naturally are really emotionally attached to it. So are everyone living in the city in some way so theres a lot of opinions. (Opinions are like armpits, (see some here on the NZ Herald site) everyone has them and most of them stink!). Further any decision made its going to analysed and commented on no matter what the decision was.
3. According to reports in the media the council has thrown a lot of money into the Cathedral, no doubt doing the right thing and helping to maintain it and generate tourism, business, life in the central city etc. It seems however, that no matter what the agreement with the council, the insurance policy and the decision maker remained the Bishop....... and so we find ourselves in the current situation!
Personally I think the right decision has been made and I respect the Bishops call. Could she have handled it better to reduce the criticism by planning for the media interest, yes definately, but it was always going to be an emotive issue. Should she release some of the technical info that led to her decision, yes, but its a question of when. Wait until the demolision has occured would allow progress. Should materials be recycled and included in the new Cathedral, yes definately.
The cool thing is there is such an awesome opportunity to build something just as iconic and less prone to earthquakes. You wait until the new plans are announced whenever that might be! There will be a lot of armpits around then I'm telling you.......although I'm sure the Bishop will know a few new tricks and will be better prepared with the media, aligned with other key interested organisations (like the council).
I hope she will be just as upfront and strong. Leaders and organisations should be.
Want to read more or see some more Southern pictures? Link here;
See the year (2011) in photos
Photos of home: The beautiful south
The New Normal: Christchurch of a Good Day!
India: Viewed by a Southern Man working there