Migrants focus for Geographic
Freelance writer and film maker Bill Morris of Port Chalmers joined a group taking part in the Fourteen Stations of the Cross walk around Lumsden on Good Friday.
Morris and freelance photographer Lottie Hedley from Raglan are writing a story about Southland’s migrant communities for New Zealand Geographic.
‘‘The story is about various migrant communities in small town New Zealand and especially about the Filipino community in Southland,’’ Morris said.
‘‘We have already visited Knapdale, Invercargill, Winton and now Lumsden with the theme being the way that migrant communities are changing the face of small towns and rural New Zealand.
‘‘I am seeing the incredibly positive effect migrant communities are bringing to these towns through the churches, and with schools gaining more pupils and students now growing up in a multicultural environment.’’
More than 100 people joined in the ecumenical faith gathering.
The group was surprised to see the instigator of the tradition, Bernadette Pardo, as she had moved to Christchurch two years ago.
‘‘We felt we had to come, so we left Christchurch at 3.30am and arrived in Lumsden at 11am, in good time for the walk.
‘‘The people gave us a joyous welcome back for the Good Friday event.’’
For the seventh year Filipino parishioners from the Catholic Church around Southland organised the event.
The service involved people walking together behind the large wooden cross, carried by different people, stopping to share readings and reflections and remembering the biblical story.
Issues covered included caring for others in need, sharing troubles, discrimination, dealing with fear and remembering women’s roles, along with showing love, respect, praise and affirmation for others.
Co-organiser Mary Ryan said she was very pleased with the large numbers attending this year, the most to date.
‘‘People from different faith traditions joined in and passers-by noticed the walkers on their journey,’’ she said.
‘‘The Filipino community provided afternoon tea, with special treats from home, after the walk.’’