by KATHLEEN CASEY
Pupils at St Joseph’s Catholic School in the South Canterbury town of Fairlie have spurred their community into raising $13,000 for Caritas for earthquake recovery in Nepal.

Michael Stewart, Caritas’s Social Justice Education Coordinator, gives a thank you card to a young representative of the school’s pupils. Mackenzie parish priest Fr John Morrison is in the background.
Michael Stewart, Caritas’s Social Justice Education Coordinator, gives a thank you card to a young representative of the school’s pupils. Mackenzie parish priest Fr John Morrison is in the background.

It was the idea of year 6 lad Ben Pawsey, who came up with the idea of an art auction to raise money because art is his favourite subject, and knowing what earthquakes could do, he said: “Hopefully it will help them rebuild their houses and repair all the destruction that was done during the earthquakes.”
Although not in the thick of it, Fairlie received its fair share of Canterbury earthquake rumbles.
Up for sale was the children’s art and a number of artworks from the Fairlie resident artist community, donated without commission. Mackenzie parish priest Fr John Morrison, also an artist, donated a piece of his work to sell.
School principal Angela Marshall said their expectations beforehand were modest. But on the night of the auction as the enthusiastic community gathered it became clear the school was going to raise much more than initially expected.
“If it wasn’t for the community support we wouldn’t have raised that much money,” Ms Marshall said. One of the children’s paintings sold for $400.
“Also on the day, lots of businesses donated vouchers.”
The cheque for $13,000 was gratefully received by Michael Stewart from Caritas.

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