On the 22nd February 2011 at nine minutes to one o'clock, Jan and I, together with Jan's brother John and sister-in-law Chris, were in the ChristChurch Cathedral visitor centre, New Zealand when the earthquake that devastated that beautiful city, occurred.
The previous September, an earthquake of magnitude 7.1 had occurred during the early hours causing few injuries but weakening many structures in the city. A particularly good exposition of the facts concerning this quake can be found on Wikipedia or alternatively on the NZ History website. My interest in this short article is twofold.
One is to honour the pledge that I gave to the redoubtable AoL editor Bob Cartwright, shortly after our return from NZ when he asked me to write an article about our experience. I promised him that I would when the time was right, but that it was far too traumatic for me to consider at that moment. Now, exactly ten years after the awful event, I feel that I can face up to the challenge.
The second reason for wanting to write this, is that I and all our party and I suspect many if not all visitors to the city on that calamitous day, owe the people of Christchurch a huge debt of thanks for the way in which they went out of their way to assist us, notwithstanding their own suffering and loss, and the fears and trepidation for what the future held for their city, homes and jobs. This is a heartfelt thank you to each one of them.
Please click on the PDF file below the photo for the full details