Life certainly hasn’t got back to normal yet after last week’s disastrous earthquake in Christchurch, even here in quiet Nelson. Everyone is still deeply affected.
At the start of our Rotary club meeting two days after the earthquake, we had a reading and a prayer from Charles Tyrell, from the Nelson Cathedral. I’m sure he won’t mind if I reproduce it here:
It’s now after 9pm on Tuesday 22 February and our thoughts have been focussed on Christchurch for the past 8 hours or so. My wife was due to travel to Greymouth today for a couple of days. That trip is now off. Instead we are glued to the TV screen and supporting a friend from Christchurch who will be staying with us tonight. The disaster in Christchurch has got very close to home indeed.
My wife worked for four years in an office in Christchurch before moving to the Nelson branch. She was on the 5th (and top) floor of the CTV building near Latimer Square. That building fell down today. At the moment it’s still on fire. Her manager was in Nelson today and together they watched a couple of the Chch staff describing on TV a miraculous escape. They were at a meeting, about ten people in a room on that 5th floor, plus a baby. Then the earthquake hit, by all accounts much worse shaking than the September one. The whole building collapsed, their floor dropped, a wall fell out and they found themselves at ground level, able to be helped out by the people outside. Right now all but one of that team are accounted for, some with serious injuries. It is remarkable! We have no news about the person still trapped and our thoughts are with her. These are friends and colleagues.
The big pulp and paper mills worked seven days a week, 24 hours a day. At Kinleith, on 361 days of the year there was a production meeting (the exceptions were Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and the next day). It started at 0930 and was always finished by 1000, usually 0940. It was super efficient, to find exactly what had happened in the previous 24 hours and ensure that events in the next 24 hours would be well coordinated.
After almost two years away, last Saturday I managed to get back to my favourite speedway track. It was great!
The road was well signposted (lots of volunteers go out the night before and set up these signs all over Christchurch – they are a dedicated lot at Moore Park!