Letter, Beatrice Bellamy

Bellamy, Beatrice

Object detail

Brief Description
Letter and photograph to the Be Our Guest competition from Beatrice Bellamy about her memories of the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake.

Beatrice wrote her account of experiences in the 1931 earthquake on one of the anniversaries. She was almost nine years old, and had been staying on an orchard near Havelock North for the summer holidays. On February 3 she was at Napier Central School playing in the Karamu hedge, when the earthquake struck. It was out of bounds, and she thought she was being punished for doing something she knew she shouldn't have been doing. She walked home along Napier Terrace through the Botanical Gardens where she stopped, probably suffering from shock. Her mother, father and sister Lorna joined her there. The family lived in Kelsall Road, and eventually went to stay in Havelock North, with the Donnelly family on their orchard. Jack Donnelly had asked Mr Chambers of Te Mata Station if they could borrow a tarpaulin for shelter for Beatrice's family. Mr Chambers had said they could as long as he could have it back when it rained so he could cover his car, so they declined his offer.

Beatrice's sister Lorna worked at the brickworks on Hyderabad Road, and her father at the port. After the earthquake, their father was in charge of the distribution of money and goods sent by other Branches of the Orange Lodge to Napier. Beatrice remembers that Fletcher Construction Company did a lot of the rebuilding work, but that they called them Fletcher Destruction Company because they always seemed to be knocking down buildings instead of building them. She described the earthquake as being a yawning chasm that divided Before and After.
Production period
Production technique
Media/Materials description
A4 typed sheets. Corrections in blue ink.
In the Be Our Guest Folder No 2.: Height x Width: 298 x 210mm
Subject person
Subject period
Subject date
03 Feb 1931
Credit line
gifted by Beatrice Bellamy
Other number(s)
m2006/27/179, 36494


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