Unflagging Optimist

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker has been there in front of the news cameras almost from the moment the deadly earthquake struck the tourist city of Christchurch. At 57, Parker is Christchurch’s Earthquake Mayor. It’s a moniker he’s earned in the trenches as two devastating quakes have hit this city of 35, since September 21 amid thousands of aftershocks that rattled the nerves and quashed the spirits of many residents. The veteran purveyor of television put the media to his best use. “It was his Rudy Giuliani moment,” TV reporter Eric Young said. “People responded to what he was trying to do.” He’s been there, crumpled notes in hand, offering his practical, nagging-uncle advice and unflagging optimism: “There’s no need to panic people.” “Make sure you bring your toothbrush to the emergency shelter.” “Let your neighbours know where you are.”

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