Manukau Courier : March 3rd 2011
www.manukaucourier.co.nz Thursday, March 3, 2011 Clevedon's all heart By HINERANGI VAIMOSO Out of danger: Earthquake survivors Junior Filimaua and sons Mavaega, left, and Samson can relax a little at Clevedon's Camp Sladdin. The family has been brought from Christchurch to Clevedon by @Heart. Photo: HINERANGI VAIMOSO ' I really thought that was it, that was the end for me. I thought: I'm never going to see my wife and kids again. ' Junior Filimaua, Christchurch earthquake survivor JUNIOR Filimaua has tried to explain to his children why he breaks down in tears at random times but he knows it will be a while before they understand. Instead he'll let them play and be normal healthy kids after a devastatingly hard week in Christchurch where he says he thought he'd never see them again. Mr Filimaua, wife Silotoa and their four children aged from eight to four are just one of the many families brought from Christchurch to Clevedon's Camp Slad- din by @Heart. The organisation that supports children with heart problems and their families was formerly known as Heart Chil- dren. The children it's help- ing are aged from three months to 20. Mr Filimaua has two sons with heart problems and now he's nursing a fractured pelvis and dis- located leg after being pinned down by a three- tonne pallet during last week's earthquake. I work at a distri- bution company and the pallet just fell from the top when the quake hit. I really thought that was it, that was the end for me. I thought: I'm never going to see my wife and kids again'.'' A workmate who just avoided being hit saw Mr Filimaua's head sticking out from under the pallet and managed to dig him out. The pain is still fresh a week later and the trauma sits deep. Mr Filimaua can't always hold back his tears. He says he'll never go back to Christchurch even though he and his wife were thinking of starting up a printing business. And while they don't like the uncertainty that shrouds their life now, the kids are adapting well. It's scary not knowing how much I'll ever be able to work again but we know things happen for a reason and this just might be a path that will lead to an even better life for us,'' he says. I just thank God that we are here now and sur- rounded by so much love and support.'' The two oldest chil- dren started at Clevedon School today along with 13 other children flown up with @Heart. Chief executive Lara Syddall is expecting 100 people from Christchurch to be at the Clevedon camp by the end of the week. The facility can only cater for 48 people so the organis- ation's bringing in caravans and is on the hunt for people to take some of the families in. The surrounding com- munity has been over- whelming'', especially Clevedon Lions Club members who rallied together to get supplies, food and volunteers, Mrs Syddall says. Every little bit towards making these families feel normal again makes a huge difference --- whether it's having a good shower or just a good night's sleep.'' Now the camp des- perately needs water to drink and for showers. She's hoping a com- pany will sponsor a water tanker. Many of those staying haven't showered for almost a week. As the days pass by, more families call for a helping hand, she says. The longer this goes on, the more calls we get. It's too much for them to handle after a while. I think what's keep- ing us going is now we can see kids with smiles on their faces doing nor- mal kid things again.'' Call 0800 KIDZ HEARTS or go to heartchildren. org.nz to help. IN BRIEF Quake concert Residents can do their bit for Canterbury by heading to an Auckland Festival concert tomorrow. All the proceeds from Ihimaera at TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre will be donated to the New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal. Ihimaera is a concert of 12 songs with lyrics by Witi Ihimaera and music by a who's who of Kiwi artists, including King Kapisi, Ruia Aperahama, Teremoana Rapley, Charlotte Yates and Kirk Torrance. Tickets from Ticket Direct on 0800-224-224, www. ticketdirect.co.nz or at the box office for $27.50 or $10 for students. The show starts at 8pm. Memorial Earthquake victims will be remembered and honoured at a memorial service in Mangere on Sunday. The service at Malaeola Community Centre on Waiokauri Place, from 6pm to 8pm, will be conducted by the Pacific churches. Money collected will be given to the Red Cross and Salvation Army appeal. Hair appeal Hairdressing students will give the Christchurch quake fundraising a cutting edge tomorrow. Staff and students at Manukau's Cut Above Academy are offering beauty services for a minimum $10 donation at its southern campus at 5a Ryan Place. Students, supervised by tutors, will provide haircuts, facials, neck massages, brow-tints, lash tints, mini manicures, face painting, temporary tattoos and more. Holding an earthquake fundraiser? Let us know and we'll tell everyone. Email email@example.com with the details.
March 1st 2011
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