Today we remember the terrible events that took place 26 years ago, which killed 3-year-old Johnathan Ball and left 12-year-old Tim Parry to die from the horrendous wounds he suffered. 54 other people were injured including Bronwen Vickers who lost a leg in the blast and died a year later.
On this dark day in our town’s history my thoughts and prayers are with Wendy and Colin Parry, and with everyone who was affected by the terrible tragedy.
26 years ago, our town was changed forever. Yet in response to the tragic loss of their son Tim, Colin and Wendy have worked tirelessly for peace and reconciliation. Their determination to make Tim’s memory a driving force for peace should inspire us all.
This year’s anniversary is particularly poignant as we reflect on the awful atrocities that have taken place in New Zealand.
In the face of such terror and heartache, we need to find positive solutions to bridge the divisions in society.
We must use this anniversary as an opportunity not only to reflect, but to recognise that whilst great steps have been made towards peace, we must redouble our efforts to make the world a safer place to live.