Topic: Memories Of The Bay Of Plenty Earthquake 1987 - Eunice McGregor

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Memories from the Bay of Plenty Earthquake 2 March 1987 written by Eunice McGregor (26.03.07) for the 20th Anniversary Earthquake Memories Project (Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum).

Earthquake Memories - Eunice McGregor : Secretary/Treasurer/Clerk - Kawerau Cosmopolitan Club

They say memories are forever.  After the Earthquake of March 2nd 1987 how could you forget?

 I had arrived back from lunch more or less starting into my afternoon's projects.

Then it all happened.  There was almighty clatter -- noises of glasses/bottle rattling, falling an breaking.  Bottles of Spirits Liquors and Wines which were standing on shelves behind the Bar dropping like flies to the floor.  An earthquake jolt like I have never felt before.

In the Office I stood there to watch the tall grey pigeon hole cabinet started to topple and spew all its contents onto the floor.  What a shambles.  But I had to laugh at all the Housie buttons which were kept on the top of the cabinet all fall down on the floor beside me, and I said to my at that time petrified assistant Lyn Price, here is a new slant on "eyes down and looking".  Meanwhile more things were being thrown down within the Club, 2 Gaming Machines dropped to the floor.  Lights above the snooker and 8 ball tables were swinging to and fro, and those not swaying had fallen onto the tables.  Bar leaners making thuds as they fell.  Doors on the bar fridges opened, broken glass everywhere.

Staff Member Lani Appelman on duty at the time rushed around picking up what she could off the floor.  Then she realised something was not quite right.

I phoned Kawerau Plumbing Company and could not understand why they would not answer the phone, as the water connection which ran under the Club had burst and there was water pouring down the Walkway.  Well, I can laugh now but cursed their business practice at the time!!

The few members including my husband Ken, who was in the company of Bob Forrest were in the Club at that time, assisted the Manager Alan Landrebe secure what they could.  By then the second jolt had hit.  More rattle/clatter, more stuff was falling.  We were then all told to get out quick, make to the car park and just leave everthing as it was.  That we did.

The Club closed for a few days.  Staff returned to work, and together with the help of Committee members and Club members everyone started the terrible task of getting the Club cleaned up.  The mess of all the broken glass, add the smell of the all the alcohol mixed on the floor, was not a nice sight or smell at all.  The more after shocks which came the more unnerved we became.

Many months later I was at a Chartered Club Conference at the Petone Workingmen's Club.  We were all inside 'in conference' when then there was a rumble and shaking of the building.  I was just about beside myself, until I realised it was a Beer Delievery Tanker using the access driveway to the Cool room.  My heart rate returned to normal.

It took me many months to get over of the Rumble which accompanied each after shock.  If I saw a Beer tanker coming on site it was not a problem.  If I didn't see it, then heard the rumble, my body system seemed to seize waiting for something to fall and break.



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Memories Of The Bay Of Plenty Earthquake 1987 - Eunice McGregor

First Names:Eunice
Last Name:McGregor