Quake memorial wall to be unveiled on sixth anniversary

A national memorial to those who died six years ago in the Christchurch earthquake will be dedicated at a special service tomorrow at noon.

The memorial wall has all 185 names of those who lost their lives in the deadly quake on February 22, and is being privately unveiled tonight to 600 family members who lost loved ones in the disaster.

Bruce McEachen lost his 25-year-old son Matty, who was working in a tattoo parlour on Colombo Street when the quake struck. He never made it out, crushed as he tried to escape. 

His name is inscribed in marble on the national memorial. 

"Matty's name is sitting there right beside Rachel Conley's," Bruce says, choking back tears. 

Six years on and that day is still real, the memories are still fresh and the years have been long.

Bruce says Rachel was going to be Matthew's last customer. 

"She popped in to look at some designs, had a conversation about what they were going to do and Matthew being the business person that he was told her that he wasn't going to take credit, and told her to go down to the ATM to get some money," Bruce says. 

Rachel took six steps outside the tattoo parlour before she died. 

Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel says the memorial is not just for those who lost their lives at the hand of the quakes. 

"It's not just for the families of people who died, but for those who were seriously injured, those who were affected in any way. People lost their homes, there was a major impact on the city," says Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel.

The 185 names will be read out as they appear on the wall at tomorrow's service and one minute's silence will be observed at 12:51, the exact moment six years ago when the quake struck.