Sunday, February 8, 2009

Geon Art Deco Weekend, Napier

We had an horrific day in Victoria yesterday ( Hottest Melbourne day on record, 46.4C, hotter in other places in the State and the worst day of bushfires possibly since 'Black Friday' on 13th January 1939. 100s of houses have been destroyed and 25 people confirmed dead which expectations that the toll will rise.

My best wishes go out to all those who have been affected and their families and friends.

It got me thinking of positive stories that have come from disasters such as this and then an email arrived in my inbox reminding me of the Geon Art Deco Weekend in Napier.

Shortly after a quarter to eleven on the morning of Tuesday 3rd February 1931 a devastating earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale hit the North Island of New Zealand about 15 or 20 kilometres north of the city of Napier.

Many buildings were destroyed in Napier and the nearby town of Hastings. 258 people died in the two towns and the surrounding district. A memorial in Napier honours the memory of those who died.

Earthquake Memorial, Napier

An Earthquake Relief Fund was established by the New Zealand Prime Minister and architects based in Napier such as J A Louis Hay and others from around the country assisted in the rebuilding of the city. By January 1933, the city was able to hold a carnival to celebrate the new Napier.

Now, the third weekend of February sees Napier host the annual Art Deco Weekend. This year the events run from Tuesday 17th to Sunday 22nd so obviously they use a different definition of weekend in New Zealand.

It is probably more to the point that the Art Deco Weekend has become so popular over its 21 years that they can't fit all the events into a two-day weekend. I suspect it won't be long before it becomes Art Deco Week.

Link: Geon Art Deco Weekend

Bushfire Update - Monday 9th February 2009

As more news comes to hand it is clear that Saturday 7th February 2009 is one of the worst days ever for Victoria. The death toll is horrendous and the number of people who have lot their homes and all their possessions heartbreaking. The towns of Marysville and Kinglake have all but been wiped out. The response from the wider community has been fantastic and I hope something positive will eventually come from this harshest reminder of nature's devastating power.

We are custodians of this planet and it will survive in some form for a very long time, but will we.

The link for the latest news on the bushfires is

The Red Cross have set up an appeal and are taking donations online through their webite -

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