Our Association joined with the rest of New Zealand in shock and grief when 50 people were shot at two mosques in Christchurch, and many more were injured.
Here in Newtown representatives of several community organisations met to talk about what to do, and decided to put on a community dinner to show love and support for the Muslim members of our community. All of Newtown was invited to come together to share food, support and conversation. Halal food was provided, and interpreters (Arabic, Somali and Farsi) were on hand to translate where necessary.
This event was held at Newtown School on the evening of Thursday 21st March. It was a wonderful and heartwarming occasion and we are so very grateful to all the people who helped to put it on, and all the people who came and made it such a success. We were privileged to hear some moving addresses from members of the Muslim community, responded to by our MP Paul Eagle. We enjoyed good food and good company, and the many children had lots of fun. Eryn at Newtown Community and Cultural Centre put it well – “people came together to celebrate the love we have for our diverse community and to send a strong message – Newtown is not a place for islamophobia, racism and fascism.” Let’s continue what was started here and go on to strengthen the connections and understanding between all our communities.