Letter, Noeline Wesney
28 Nov 2005
Noeline Wesney was six years old at the time of the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake. She was one of three girls and was at Hastings Central School, in the school buildings during the earthquake. She found herself alone after the quake and saw a teacher lying on the floor, not moving. Noeline remembers screaming and screaming. Her father collected Noeline and her older sister from school. Her sister was seven and comforting younger children at a collapsed fence, where they had all gathered.
The family lived in Lyndon Road. They stayed at Noeline's grandmother's house going via Cornwall Park. They camped with other families on an empty paddock. The men would leave early in the morning to help with the fires or with funerals. Some of the older women were taken to stay at undamaged houses with real beds. They were later evacuated to stay in Woodville. Noeline's father worked as a temporary undertaker at funerals in Napier. The beginning of Noeline's account is of the thoughts going through her head just before, and at the time of the quake.