15 March 2019 – Christchurch

On 15 March 2019, I had a frustrating drive back from dropping off my daughter off in the City. Traffic was frustrating, parking was tricky to get into, and everything took longer than it should have. I had to walk a couple of children over from the museum to the art center where the kids were going to do art play before nature play in the gardens.

Then at 2 pm, I was trying not to panic as I knew the children were close to the shootings. By 3 pm my wife was in lockdown with the children and there was nothing I could do.

The next day I had time to think and then started hoping not the see anyone face or name I knew, in the headlines. And then on Monday the names and faces of those who lost their lives started appearing. And then Farhaj Ahsan’s face appeared and I knew that a kind and gentle man with a young family was killed. A name appeared I had hoped would not. And then another – Syed Jahandad Ali. Father to two girls at the kindergarten my wife teaches at.

Both men shared some common traits. Both were young, hardworking and intelligent. Both where kind and gentle. Both where great fathers. The death of both left all who knew them with a sense of great loss and sadness. For their families, nothing will be the same again.

And all I can do is share my condolences, with the family and friends of those who lost their lives.

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