By Peter Corlett
22nd February 2012

 Waikanae School children and staff observed two minutes silence at school today, commemorating the Canterbury earthquake victims and survivors.

School Principal Mr Bevan Campbell, reminded the children about the people of Christchurch having their lives and homes “turned upside down by the quake, and that many lost their lives and even more lost their homes and livelihoods.”

During the silence, the New Zealand flag was raised to half mast.

One of the Waikanae School teachers, Maarja Schouton (left), officiated during the flag raising ceremony.

And when the flag was raised, more than 500 students reverently observed two minutes’ silence — accompanying many tens of thousands of other Kiwis around the country who were also paying their respects to those who died, and all those who suffered, in the Christchurch earthquake.

While the school hosted several “earthquake refugees” after the initial quake, those students had since returned home.

Mr Corlett, a Waikanae school teacher said,    “It is important that students are aware of, and participate in times of remembrance such as this,  as it helps develop an understanding of compassion and empathy.”