A local tribute to Mandela

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Oamaru is following in the footsteps of many around the world by having its own memorial to celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela.

The civic commemoration will be held at the Oamaru Opera House tonight and will include a speech from Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher.

Commemoration organiser Reverend Bernard Wilkinson said he thought it would be appropriate to have a civic service so everyone could be involved.

“As a citizen of Oamaru, I thought we ought to do something to give citizens the opportunity to express their feelings.”

Oamaru Public Library manager Philip van Zijl, who was helping to organise the service, said he would be doing a small tribute.

“I’m really touched that the community feels so strongly and that the mayor is fully behind this.”

The commemoration will be hosted by Reverend Wilkinson, with several tributes from people in the community, and both the South African and New Zealand national anthem will be sung.

The Oamaru Public Library’s commemoration book will also be at the service.

The service will be held in the Empire Room at the Oamaru Opera House tonight from 5.30-6.30pm.

By RUBY HARFIELD