Candlelight vigil underway for three sisters killed in Timaru

Hundreds have turned out in Timaru on Thursday night to honour three sisters killed in their home last week.

The vigil for the sisters - Liane, 6, and two-year-old twins Maya and Karla - which started at 7pm outside the Queen St address where they died.  

A tribute wall outside the home of the sisters that were killed.
A tribute wall outside the home of the sisters that were killed. Photo credit: Image - Newshub

Around 250 people from around the community gathered holding candle lights in honour of the three children. 

The ceremony will include karakia, music and written tributes from the girl's father and their extended South African family. 

A tribute wall has been set-up outside the house, which has flowers, pictures and stuffed kids animals. 

A vigil will be held in South Africa at the same time.

Candlelight vigil underway for three sisters killed in Timaru
Photo credit: Image - Newshub

Rev Alan Cummins read a message from the girl's father Graham Dickason, who thanked the community for its support and love according to Stuff.

"My words are few at the moment,'' he says. "On Thursday the 16th of September 2021 my life and Lauren's were turned upside down when our three precious angels were ripped away from us.

"It is a loss that I will carry with me for the rest of my life."

Dickason thanked "the people of Timaru, New Zealanders, South Africans and many people from all over the world, we have been blessed with love and support''.

"My faith in humanity has been restored, I thank you all. "In this time of terrible tragedy and adversity I can only ask for prayer for myself, my family and my friends.''

The mother of the three children, who appeared in Timaru District Court on Saturday, was charged with murder of her three children on September 16 before being remanded to a secure facility at Hillmorton Hospital in Christchurch. Her next appearance is expected at the High Court at Timaru on October 5.

The sisters were found dead by their father Graham Dickason, who returned to their Queen St residence before 10pm. 

Emergency services soon converged on the property, with the mother initially being taken to hospital. 

The family had only arrived in Timaru a week before after moving to New Zealand from Pretoria in South Africa and spending time in managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ). Both parents are medical practitioners, with Graham working at the local hospital.