Yorkshire family in tribute to NZ quake victim

The family of a North Yorkshire man killed in the devastating New Zealand earthquake paid tribute to his “vibrance and social spirit” today.

Chef Gregory Tobin, 25, from Tadcaster, died when the quake tore apart Christchurch on South Island last month.

His relatives thanked the authorities who have supported them, and praised the “fortitude and resilience” of the people of the stricken city.

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In a statement released by the British High Commission, the Tobin family said: “It is with a heavy heart that we must thank this city of Christchurch and the international community at large for their help and generosity through these darker times.

“As we mourn the loss of our son and brother Greg Tobin we remember his vibrance and social spirit which we have come to realise embodies this entire island and is the reason why Greg felt comfortable enough to call Christchurch his home.

“The family would like to thank, for their selfless generosity, the International Urban Search and Rescue Teams including members of the New South Wales Fire and Rescue, the British High Commission team in Christchurch who left their families to help ours.”

Naming others, the statement went on: “The New Zealand Police Force, in particular our family liaison officer whose patience we tested, the owners and staff of Joe’s Garage who adopted Greg as their own, our friends and family, old and new, who have kept the torch burning and to the family whose wing we have been taken under, we are eternally grateful.

“The fortitude and resilience of the people of Christchurch leave us in no doubt that they will rebuild this city.”

It ended: “To those who are my army, the wall of arms around me.”

Mr Tobin is the only British victim from the disaster confirmed so far. He was on a round-the-world trip when he was killed.

Four Britons are believed to have died in the 6.3-magnitude quake, which struck the city at lunchtime on February 22. At least 165 people have been killed.