Letter, J R Pryde
Pryde, J R
05 Jan 2006
J R Pryde was in the hills overlooking Napier when the 1931 earthquake occurred. He was eighteen. He estimates that he was about 40 odd miles east of Wairoa at a height of about 300 feet, looking out across the Whakiki swamp, Iwitea Pā, and the sea towards Napier. He was prospecting for water and had dug a hole about two foot deep. As he jumped to check for water he found himself lying on the ground. He remembers the noise the most, the screeching pheasants and other birds, panicking cattle and sheep, and the wires being dragged through the staples on the fences. He ran to look out over the bay to see if there was a tidal wave. An aftershock occurred so he stood on his spade handle as the ground opened and closed.
Mr Pryde wrote this several years ago but sent it in January 2006. He believed that the quake that took place in September 1931 was stronger and did more damage to Wairoa, including finally destroying the Wairoa bridge. Mr Pryde believes that Rick Ryman, former manager of Swifts Wairoa meatworks is also of the same opinion.