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.’’

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