Letter, Ella McLeod
01 Mar 2001
Ella was twelve and in Standard 5 at Havelock North School at the time of the earthquake. Her sister Iris was in Standard 6 and had gone to the swimming baths with the primmer classes. Their father came to take them home and they were away from school for two or three weeks.
Ella's sister Ida worked at their uncle's chemist shop in Hastings and both had to scramble over rubble to get out. Ella writes that the sound of the fire and the continuing earthquakes, especially the second big shake at around 9 o'clock, was frightening. Her father was on picket duty at night to help to guard the town. They lived in an army Bell tent and cooked outside.
Post 03 Feb 1931