Annually on the second Sunday in December at 7pm local time, international non-profit organisation The Compassionate Friends, which provides bereaved parents with grief support, has a worldwide candle lighting event in honour of children who have died from any cause such as baby loss, illness, accident, suicide or murder — and at any age and time.
Because New Zealand is the first country to greet the dawn, we in Whanganui commence this global wave of light at 7pm NZ time and keep watch for an hour until the light passes on to the next time zone.
Whanganui people will meet at Virginia Lake at 6.45pm on Sunday, December 10.
Gathering around the statue of Peter Pan near the fountain at the lakeside, we will light candles in honour of our children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters who have died too soon.
It is a beautiful spot, poignant as we see Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up, as many of our children have not.
Location: Virginia Lake Whanganui by the Peter Pan statue, follow the footprints.
Highlights: Readings, children’s activities; poetry; candle lighting ceremony at 7pm, roll call of our children; music; candles supplied — or bring your own if you prefer.
Bring: Photos; mementoes; picnic chair/umbrella if needed. After the event join us for light refreshments.
Note: The Whanganui City Christmas Carol Service will be at the Lake simultaneously, so take a moment to light a memorial candle with us and move on to that function to celebrate Christmas. We need not walk alone.