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1931 Earthquake Survivors’ Afternoon Tea

1931 Earthquake Survivors’ Afternoon Tea
Media Announcement

Invitation for Earthquake Survivors to attend 80th Anniversary Afternoon Tea
Hawke’s Bay is inviting survivors of the 1931 Earthquake to a special afternoon tea on Saturday 5 February as part of the 80th Anniversary commemoration on 3-6 February.

“We are already getting enquiries from other parts of New Zealand from earthquake survivors who are now spread far and wide. As time passes, more survivors are taking the time to get together at these occasions,” said Napier City Mayor Barbara Arnott.

The afternoon tea is an opportunity for people who came through the 1931 earthquake as children to share their memories and catch up with others. Other commemorative events will be held in Hastings and Napier including 10.30 am civic services to run through the precise time the earthquake struck, commemorative church services for schools, specially guided earthquake walks, and story-telling in cafes (programme attached).

People who would like to attend the afternoon tea can register at the Mayor of Napier’s office, and carers and family are welcome.

“Despite the advancing age of the survivors, more people attended the afternoon tea last year than in previous years, and it is quite a special occasion,” Mayor Arnott said.

The afternoon tea is organised jointly by Napier City Council, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Civil Defence, and Hawke’s Bay Art Deco Trust, with Hawke’s Bay Red Cross, The Tennyson (hotel) and Napier Boys High School.

The afternoon tea will be hosted again by Napier Boys High School at their Henderson Hall in Chambers St. The Hawke’s Bay branch of the Red Cross will have a guest book for people to sign; the NZ Red Cross was established directly as a result of the 1931 earthquake.

The Mayor’s cake will be cut by the oldest and youngest survivors with the Mayor before tea, sandwiches and cakes will be served by volunteers. There will also be musical items from the era and a talk about by Helen Jacobi, the Dean of St John’s Cathedral about some of the church and community responses after the earthquake.

“The afternoon is truly a community event and we are grateful for the generosity of many organisations and businesses who kindly contribute to make this a special event for these special senior citizens,” said Mayor Arnott.


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