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Friargate Poetry: Hope After the Tsunami | 24-Jul-06

Friargate Theatre, York; 7.30pm; a charity fundraiser in aid of the Stephen Magson Memorial Trust

The publicity material for this event says:

"On Boxing Day 2004 a massive earthquake measuring 9.3 on the Richter scale erupted off Indonesia's Sumatran coast sending out a lethal Tsunami that caused devastation throughout the costal communities of South East Asia. Lives were shattered, communities fractured and the world left shocked and reeling at nature?s destructive power. The most recent analysis indicates the number of casualties were 186,983 dead and 42,883 missing, for a total of 229,866 affected and this catastrophe is one of the deadliest disasters in modern history.

On that fateful morning I was enjoying an idyllic holiday with my husband Steve and daughter India on the beautiful Thai Island of Koh Phi Phi. India and I were Kayaking on the sea and somehow survived, but Steve was killed when the giant wave obliterated our Hotel and raised Phi Phi to the ground.

Since Steve's death (and our own miraculous survival) India and I have been trying to make sense of what has happened and also rebuild our lives with the legacy of strength and love that Steve gave us.

Soon after our return from Thailand family and friends joined together to form "The Stephen Magson Memorial Trust" our aims:

1. To keep alive Steve's memory by raising funds in his name.
2. Following the Asian Tsunami to help the people of Kho Phi Phi to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.
3. To maintain strong links with the people in the area where Steve lost his life.
4. To encourage and reward Steve's field of interests back home in York.

Steve was a wonderful, loving and dynamic man missed by all who knew him and the Trust has been working hard to ensure that we keep his name alive. Our story, progress, projects and events can be followed on our web site at:

We have mainly been focusing fund raising and helping the people on Phi Phi who are trying hard to rebuild their community and tourism livelihoods. We are very excited by this poetry project coordinated by Antony Dunn at Friargate Theatre and our friend Jane Dwyer. I am working on creating some involvement with the community on Phi Phi (possibly funding a poetry project on the Island so we can showcase some of the work during the evening) and funds raised from the evening will go directly back to the Island - personally taken by India and I when we return for the second anniversary at Christmas.

Our theme for the evening will be:
 "The Tsunami and its global impact - but mainly looking to all our futures. Rebuilding, regeneration, strength, community - and most of all man's incredible ability to overcome the worst that can happen and look to the future with hope."

We hope that you will be inspired by our story and help us by submitting poems to be read, preferably by you the night, on what promises to be a very special event."

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