Colourful cardstock brightened the white tables at the St. John’s Community Market early Monday evening.
Adults and children glued construction paper and wrote messages of love and support with markers or coloured pencils.
In the wake of the terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand Friday that claimed 50 lives, people in St. John’s had gathered in sorrow and solidarity.
St. John’s resident Nell Shea said she came to the card-making event at the community market to show her “support to a community that needs it at the moment, and to make every Newfoundlander feel welcome at home.”
Two other St. John’s residents, Gobhina Nagarajah and Caitlin Urquhart, organized the event. They said the letters and cards of condolence would be delivered to Masjid-al-Noor, the province’s only mosque.
“We want to create a space where people can mourn together because the Muslim community is part of this community – they aren’t separate, they are a part of it – and we wanted to create a space where people could get together and support one another and mourn together and show solidarity,” said Urquhart.
“I think it’s important that the community here knows that we absolutely renounce hate and discrimination, that we are being very clear that we condemn any type of violence, but also other types of discrimination and racism.”
Sharon King-Campbell said she attended the card-making event to show the St. John’s Muslim community they are loved.
King-Campbell said she used to live in New Zealand.
“I consider it to be a particularly inclusive society as Western post-colonial societies go. I worked for the government while I was there and I was working in not just a multi-ethnic but a multinational work environment.
“So, having something that horrific with that kind of impact on a population happen in a place like Christchurch is something I’m having a lot of trouble processing, honestly. It’s really difficult to align that kind of hatred with the society that I knew and worked in when I lived there. Literally anything I can do to make the world better right now is the right thing.”
King-Campbell said the message she planned to write in her card was simply, “Love is stronger than hate.”