Christchurch earthquake: 'The brother we will never get to know'

By Bridget Rutherford

Tessa and Anahera Lancaster will grow up wondering what their big brother would have been like.

They never met Baxtor.

He was just five months old when he was killed after falling masonry fell on him in his cot during the February 22, 2011, earthquake.

Every year, on the anniversary of his death, the three and four-year-old's place their teddies and flowers as his grave.

But this year they put them below his name at the foot of the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial.

"They know it's Baxtor's day," their mother Breanna Gowland said.
Baxtor was her first child.

"At that stage he was my one and only."

She said he was a perfect baby, she said. He never cried and he wasn't fussy.

"He loved music and movement - he did have a cheeky side."

Her eldest daughter Anahera's name means Angel in Maori - a name inspired by Baxtor, she said.

It feels like the earthquake happened just yesterday, she said.

"Every year it catches up on you. Last year he would have started school and that was a big milestone for me. I kept thinking what would he be like?

"I don't think I've ever felt healed as such. When this anniversary came around it still hurts like it did in the first instance."

Baxtor was one of three babies who died in the disaster.

Five-week-old Taneysha Prattley was killed with her mother Kelsey Moore when the Ruben Blades hairdressing academy building in the central city collapsed.

Eight-month-old Jayden Harris was killed when a television fell on top of him while he was in his bed.

Ms Gowland said her family had tended to get quite irritable leading up to the anniversary.

But this year it was different because the new memorial was a place for them to remember their loved ones.

"It's always bitter-sweet but this year it's a real physical memory of them.

"I like that he has his wee place."

- Christchurch Star

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