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Ninety years later: Commemoration of the Hawk Bay earthquake

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It has been 90 years since the Hawk Bay region was struck by a 1931 magnitude 7.8 earthquake that devastated Napier and killed nearly 250 people. Image / file

Ninety years after the 1931 Hawk Bay earthquake, a number of events have been staged to celebrate the bleak anniversary.

On the morning of February 3, 1931, the Hawk Bay area was hit by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that devastated Napier and killed nearly 250 people.

Napier City Council will hold a revival mass on Wednesday, February 3, at the HMS Veronica Sunbay Memorial near Soundshell on Marine Pde.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 10:30 a.m. and will include a speech by Napier Mayor Kirsten Weisz.

She said it was a chance to celebrate the 90th anniversary of a devastating day for the city.

“ The ceremony is an opportunity […] To honor lost souls and to celebrate the resilience of those who rebuilt the city we know and love today. “

Other speakers include Commodore Matthew Williams, Commander of the Naval Component, Royal New Zealand Navy; David Bamford, a member of the Lachlan Campbell family, Commissioner for Reconstruction; The President of the New Zealand Red Cross Branch, Tracy Ferguson.

Memories of that fateful day were “most precious and important to remember” so future generations can understand the history of the event, said Kirsten Weisz, Mayor of Napier. Image / file

Procedures will include a wreath laying ceremony and Veronica’s bell ringing.

In the event of rain, the party will take place at Napier War Memorial Center.

Hastings County Council will also hold a memorial event in Hastings city center near the Clock Tower starting at 10:30 am.

The annual Afternoon Tea will be held for earthquake survivors on Sunday, February 7th.

Wise said Afternoon Tea for Survivors paid tribute to all of those who experienced or helped in the aftermath of the earthquake.

“Over time, memories of that day become more valuable and important to remember, for the sake of future generations who know the history of our city.”

The 21st Afternoon Tea Conference will take place at Napier Boys High School from 2 pm-4pm and feature the Prima Volta Project, a guest at Napier Boys High School, and Veronica Bell.

Attended earthquake survivors should receive their invitations before Christmas.

Anyone who has changed their address, or has never attended before and would like to invite them for Survivor Afternoon Tea, can contact Anna Eady at 027260 4159.

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