The massive earthquake which struck Hawke’s Bay on February 3rd 1931 is the single greatest natural disaster in the region’s recorded history.
93 lives were lost in Hastings, buildings collapsed, fires broke and roads were destroyed.
Tribute will again be paid to those who lost their life in the quake, at a memorial service to be held at the Hastings clock tower on Friday February 3rd.
Hastings District Councillor Kevin Watkins says “Out of the loss and devastation which came to the city on that fateful day in 1931 came new growth, a strengthening of the community spirit and a whole new look for the region’s buildings.”
“It is fitting that we again gather to remember those who lost their lives and those whose lives were changed forever on this 81st anniversary of the quake,” Mr Watkins says.
Mayor Lawrence Yule says “Eighty one years has brought many changes to Hastings, but we will never forget the day which tore the bricks and mortar of our city apart and united its citizens with a determination to rebuild.”
Plaques were placed on the clock tower in 1995 which list the names of those who perished in the quake and the inscription reads ‘Their sun went down before it was noon’.
This year’s service will begin with pipers leading the dignitaries to the stage, where Councillor Watkins will introduce Kaumatua and then invite Mayor Lawrence Yule to speak.
A period of reflection will be led by Reverend Graeme Pilgrim of St Matthews and the bells in the clock tower will toll at 10.46, the exact time the quake struck Hawke’s Bay.
Survivors, families of survivors and all Hastings residents are welcome to attend the commemoration service, which will begin at 10.30am on Friday February 3rd.