Letter and photographs, Duncan Hyde

Hyde, Duncan
Production date
Circa 2005

Object detail

Brief Description
Letter and photographs to the Be Our Guest competition from Duncan Hyde. Duncan writes about his memories of the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake.

a) Letter from Duncan Hyde. Duncan's father was a chartered accountant at McCullough, Butler and Spence, and became a partner at the Hastings branch in 1932. Duncan lived in Wairoa at the time of the 1931 earthquake. He was seven years old and the family had just come back from spending the school holidays at Westshore in Napier. Duncan and his sister were driven to school that day. His sister was five years old and it was her first day at Wairoa Primary School. Over 200 children were on the playing ground when the quake struck. They fell over, got up again and fell over again. The water tanks at the back of the school collapsed and flooded the playground. The children lay on the ground and watched the chimneys on the school fall over. Children were crying, especially when some learned that the bridge over the river was down as many lived on the other side. His father came to get his sister and Duncan to take them home.

A neighbour in their street, Mrs O'Malley, was killed when a tank stand collapsed on her. After the earthquake, the family lived in their large car-shed along with neighbours, for about two weeks. Power was restored after a few days and water was delivered to the gate for several weeks. Classes at school resumed after a week and were held under willow trees for over a week.

b) Photographs include seven copies of photographs of the damage caused in Wairoa including Marine Parade; Wairoa Traffic Bridge; Wairoa Post and Telegraph Office; the shop where popular fruit and vegetable shopkeeper Lim Kee was killed; damage to the Westshore cottage of the Hyde Family of Wairoa and one of the several jetties from the state highway out to the Inner Harbour in Napier.
Production date
Circa 2005
Production period
Production technique
Media/Materials description
A4 photocopied sheets, typed. Photographs.
In the Be Our Guest Folder No 2.: Height x Width: 298 x 210mm
Height x Width: 90 x 150mm
Height x Width: 95 x 153mm
Height x Width: 92 x 153mm
Height x Width: 90 x 153mm
Height x Width: 98 x 153mm
Height x Width: 153 x 103mm
Height x Width: 93 x 153mm
Subject person
Subject period
Subject date
03 Feb 1931
Credit line
gifted by Duncan Hyde
Other number(s)
m2006/27/101, 35125


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