Expressions of sympathy after Erebus disaster

Message from Air New Zealand published in major newspapers around the country on 1 December 1979.

Expressions of sympathy

After confirmation was received that no one had survived the crash of TE901 expressions of sympathy began to arrive from around New Zealand and the world. Queen Elizabeth II conveyed her sympathy to the Governor-General, Sir Keith Holyoake, noting that 'a disaster of such magnitude must touch all New Zealanders'. She also no doubt recalled the impact of the Tangiwai rail disaster of 1953, which occurred during her first royal visit to New Zealand. The Prime Minister, Rob Muldoon, was among the many New Zealanders who expressed shock at the tragedy and extended their sympathy to the friends and family of the victims.

On 1 December, the Saturday following the disaster, New Zealand newspapers carried a full-page advertisement from Air New Zealand, in which the airline expressed its 'profound feelings of sympathy and concern' to those who had lost friends and family. It also thanked people for the 'condolence and support' they had provided to the airline and the nation. On the same day touching personal notices placed by individual Air New Zealand staff members appeared in the New Zealand Herald. They expressed feelings of 'deepest and heartfelt sympathy' to the family and friends of their fellow crew members.

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