Expressions of sympathy after Erebus disaster

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

Expressions of sympathy

Once it was clear that no one had survived the crash of TE901, expressions of sympathy began to arrive from around the country and around 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 will have remembered the impact of the Tangiwai rail disaster on Christmas Eve 1953, during her first royal visit to New Zealand. Prime Minister Rob Muldoon was among many New Zealanders who expressed shock at the tragedy and extended their sympathy to the friends and families 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 members. It also thanked people for the 'condolence and support' they had provided to the airline and the nation. On the same day, personal notices placed by individual Air New Zealand staff members appeared in the New Zealand Herald. These expressed their 'deepest and heartfelt sympathy' to the families and friends of the crew members.

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