Despite suits trapped in a store in the earthquake zone, and a cake left unfinished at a bakery, Emma Howard and Chris Greenslade were married on schedule Feb 25 in Christchurch. The couple were in separate buildings when the quake struck on Tuesday, and shortly after, Emma texted Chris to indicate that she was okay and provide him with her location, according to AOL News. To his surprise, the location was transformed into a collapsed office tower, and Emma was lodged in a cavity between two floors. Chris texted her with encouragement during the six hours it took to free her, and helped to pull others from the building as he and other rescuers worked. The church where they had planned to have the wedding was deemed safe. Chris borrowed a suit, and friends provided a homemade cake. The couple acknowledged the difficulties of others around them, including the ongoing search for others trapped in the quake. Chris was quoted in the New Zealand Herald as saying:”If we can give others people a bit of hope, it’s all good.” Emma added: “The decision was a no-brainer, really. If it had to be fish and chips on the lawn, that’s what we would have done.” Following the ceremony, the couple parted from friends, family, on-lookers and local media in a blue 1989 Ford Laser. ‘Just married,’ was written on the car with shaving cream, and tin cans clinked behind as they drove off.
The British author Ian McEwan, who received the Jerusalem Prize at this year’s International Book Fair, said he will be donating the $10,000 award to Combatants for Peace.
The group was founded by Palestinians and Israelis who had previously taken an active part in fighting each other. Its representatives said they are committed to working to end the occupation and achieve a two-state solution.