Letter, E J Greaney

Greaney, Edward James

Object detail

Brief Description
An undated seven page letter, signed by E J (Ted) Greaney, recalling his memories of the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake.

In his letter Ted describes watching the HMS Veronica arrive before heading to mass at St Patrick's Church with his brother Frank, on the first day of the school year, 3 February 1931. Following the mass the pupils made their way to the Marist Brothers School, located at the corner of Shakespeare and France Road.

Ted recalls he had not long entered his classroom when the earthquake struck, and goes on to describe the scene of the pupils exiting their rooms and the damaged caused to the buildings. He writes of his observation of damage in the surrounding area and of seeing the fire coming up over the hill towards Napier.

He and his brother received a ride on a flat deck lorry down the hill to Battery Road, and were then left to walk home. They encountered the harbour master who warned them to get up the hill as there was a tidal wave expected. After remaining on the hill for some time, Ted and Frank were offered a ride home in a car.

Ted writes of sleeping under a pine tree and feeling the aftershocks coming up from deep down. He describes his family and where they were at the time the earthquake struck.
Production period
Production technique
Media/Materials description
Handwritten in blue ink on cut down lined paper with a margin.
Height x Width: 230 x 150mm
Subject person
Subject date
03 Feb 1931
Other number(s)


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