7 Aug 2011

Shift of venue for atomic bombing commemoration

4:59 am on 7 August 2011

A ceremony in Christchurch commemorating the 66th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is going ahead on Saturday afternoon, despite complications caused by the earthquakes.

A lantern ceremony has been held on the Avon River every year since 1975.

Organisers faced many difficulties this year after Victoria Square, where the event is usually held, was cordoned off in the red zone.

While this year's event will not involve lanterns, it will still go ahead at the Workers Education Association.

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, says the earthquakes, combined with Japan's tsunami and nuclear crisis, make this year's anniversary particularly significant.

"All of Christchurch are a bit fragile and any time we get together and talk about what's happening in the world it will be emotional. It's just a time to reflect and think about what happened 66 years ago," said organiser Jeanie Murtagh.