On Friday 22 March, Al-Taqwa College celebrated and honoured the 50 lives lost in the Christchurch massacre.
The day commenced with distinguished visitors arriving at the College including Cr Henry Barlow of Wyndham City Council, Graham Anderson, Elder for the Victoria Maori Wardens and Maria Kumar also of Victoria Maori Wardens. Representatives from the Victoria Police, Westbourne Grammar and The Grange were also in attendance.
Guests were given a tour of the Mosque followed by a Quran recitation by student Liwaa Haddara. The Al-Taqwa College Choir sung the National Anthem and School Anthem with pride.
Mr Hallak, Al-Taqwa College Principal, gave his welcome speech followed by a few students also welcoming our guests. Cr Henry Barlow discussed the importance of unity within the Australian Community. Victoria Maori Wardens Elder, Graham Anderson thanked the Muslim community for inviting him to the event and stated that it was about time that we have all come together. He welcomed the initiative and hopes to keep the ties open between the College and the Wardens.
The guests and students then moved to the front of the Mosque to witness a powerful Haka performance by students and staff of the Victoria Maori Wardens with a minute of silence to respect the lives lost.
The College hosted a buffet of Lebanese food for the guests with yet another Haka performance after Friday prayers with the local community.
It was an emotionally charged day which will never be forgotten. It is times like these where people unify and stand for their rights. The ties between New Zealand and Australia have only grown tighter. The Victoria Maori Wardens and Al-Taqwa College have now opened their doors to each other and will never look back.
May Allah bless those who have been affected by the tragic events.