Over the past 10 days I have been lucky enough to be with “my brothers” in the far north of New Zealand enjoying friendships, golf, wine and food and then came the catastrophic news out of Christchurch which still defies comprehension. In the hours after the carnage I was soon to learn that New Zealand has a young female leader, Jacinda Arden, who I’m sure will continue to earn worldwide respect and admiration.
She promptly labelled the worst peacetime mass killing in New Zealand as terrorism and set about reassuring a nation that has been largely unscathed by the violence and fears that have afflicted other countries in the past two decades. A day after the attack she led a multi-party group to visit grieving families and Muslim community members. Wearing a black head scarf, she hugged relatives and let them set the pace and agenda as she listened and offered comfort.
Arden burst into prominence during New Zealand’s 2017 election, feted globally as part of a new wave of progressive, young
leaders to enter the world stage. Arden’s pregnancy, maternity leave and the birth of her daughter while in office also set her apart, with many people seeing it as symbolising progress for women in leadership roles.
Unfortunately, the memories that I hold will be focused on the tragedies of March 16, 2019 and where I was when it all unfolded, but I will also carry the learnings of a new, young inspiring female leader, Jacinda Arden, of whom I believe we
will hear much more. Three of the most powerful short words she used to describe the feeling will change my thinking forever – “They are us”!
The tragedy of Christchurch gave Adern an opportunity to tell New Zealanders what their country stands for, to dismiss any sense of self-doubt. She said the attack had not happened because their country was a safe harbour for hate, or racism or
extremism. “We were chosen for the very fact that we are none of those things”, she said in a national address during which her voice cracked with emotion.
“Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion. A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who need it. And those values will not and cannot be shaken by this attack”, she said – Enough said!
What a great fortnight it’s been for the Lorne Bowls Club with the icing on cake last weekend when both men’s senior pennant sides (Division 2 and Division 4) secured the 2018-19 Premierships for the Club.
These two great victories capped off a great season for the club following the earlier premiership victory by the Ladies mid week division three pennant side.
Add the on-field successes to the recent Federal Government grant announcement for the new green surface and it’s fair to say that this would have to be one of the best years yet for our proud local bowlers and good luck and well done to them all.
Chairman – Committee for Lorne