A candlelight vigil outside the Timaru home of three young girls allegedly killed by their mother will be held tomorrow night.
Lauren Dickason has been charged with murdering daughters Liane, 6, and 2-year-old twins Maya and Karlan at their Queen St home last Thursday night.
The South African family had just arrived in New Zealand after completing two weeks in managed isolation so husband and father Graham, an orthopaedic surgeon, could start a new job with the South Canterbury District Health Board.
Just a week after arriving in the South Canterbury town of Timaru – still reeling from a horror car crash that killed five teenagers a month earlier – it’s alleged that Lauren murdered the three children.
Graham arrived home from a work function about 9.40pm on Thursday and found the grisly scene.
While the wider Dickason family comes to terms with the tragedy, and a relative of Graham’s flies in from South Africa and Lauren undergoes a court-ordered psychiatric assessment, the Timaru community is planning a show of solidarity and heartfelt support.
At 7pm tomorrow, “a night of love and candlelight” will be held outside the Queen St home.
It’s been organised by Hampers of Hope founder Jacqueline Harris who helped devastated families after last month’s horrific car crash.
Timaru Hospital chaplain, Reverend Alan Cummins will lead the vigil while Jade Whaley, who lives next door and heard sobbing and moaning last Thursday night, will give a reading.
Cummins said the public event will give people a chance to show their support for the family and express their sympathies.
“It will be a very powerful time and an emotional time for sure,” he said.
The car crash that claimed five young lives had a huge impact on the local community, Cummins said, and this has only heightened the collective sense of grief.
“There’s a lot of grief and sadness. It’s put Timaru on the map for all the wrong reasons,” he said.
On Saturday, there will be another community gathering, with people asked to meet at Caroline Bay skatepark at 2pm before walking to the water’s edge for a flower float.
WHERE TO GET HELP:
If you are worried about your or someone else’s mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.
OR IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE:
• LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 or 09 5222 999 within Auckland (available 24/7)
• SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
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• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
• KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
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• SAMARITANS – 0800 726 666.
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