Thursday April 12, 2018
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Pupils create display as Wahine survivors, rescuers, commemorate 50 years Continued from page 1. He and his family were on the interisland ferry destined for Australia when the disaster struck. After recovering in Wellington they continued on, haunted by a tragedy they would never forget. Daniel has lived across the Tasman ever since but returning to the site brought back memories that are still etched from that tender age. “I remember the feelings I had at the time. Even today, being on a stormy coast can trigger them.” Daniel was one of dozens of survivors who joined rescuers at the Seatoun function, the last of a series of commemorations in Wellington and across the harbour in Eastbourne where almost all the 51 people who died on the day had washed ashore. While the weather was appropriately wet and windy, organisers of the Wahine 50 programme remarked that the gales blasting Wellington were just a breeze compared to the 200km/h gusts from Cyclone Giselle that battered the region on April 10, 1968.
Pupils Lily Davies, 11, Josie Bamber, 11, and Louis Appleby, 12, demonstrate an interactive exhibition of the Wahine disaster using an augmented reality app during the Seatoun Remembers event. PHOTO: Jamie Adams
Wahine 50 Trust chairman Rhys Jones says the commemorations are about acknowledging the efforts of ordinary people who came to the rescue on that fateful day. “It’s about communities being strong and resilient and knowing their role is still relevant today. “We tend to forget the vast majority of rescue agencies are volunteers,” Rhys says. “We often call them the first responders but they are actually
the second responders – the first are in the immediate vicinity. They are the ones who helped save 680 people’s lives that day.” Seatoun Remembers featured displays of photos and newspapers that had been collected by local pharmacist Rowan Hatch, who had donated much of his memorabilia to what is now Wellington Museum at the 25th anniversary. The presentation also featured displays by Seatoun School’s pupils including a cardboard
re-enactment of the disaster, collages and drawings of the ship and even an augmented reality video display using a tablet computer. Principal John Western says the entire school was involved in organising the “high quality” event. “Historically the school would go annually to the pharmacy and more recently the museum to commemorate, but this time we wanted to do something extra special.”
Parking warden recovering after ‘act of thuggery’ A Wellington City Council parking officer has had to have surgery, including facial reconstruction, after being assaulted while on duty on Friday. The officer was knocked unconscious and suffered a fractured eye socket and broken nose. Wellington City Council’s acting chief executive Kane Patena says the parking officer was admitted to hospital and underwent surgery after the attack outside Newtown School
on Riddiford St. Kane says the officer will fully recover, “but it will take some time”. “The officer wants me to convey their sincere gratitude to the members of the public who rendered assistance straight away and to the officer’s colleagues who arrived at the scene in a matter of minutes,” Kane says. “I am utterly appalled and disgusted at what can only be described as an idiotic and
gutless act of thuggery. “Our parking officers are good men and women who are simply trying to do their job. Not one of our staff deserves to be treated like this irrespective of what people think about the profession.” Wellington City Council’s Director of Human Resources, Nicola Brown, says Worksafe was notified on Monday and the council will carry out its own investigation. “We are also actively support-
ing our parking officers who will no doubt be shaken by this incident.” Mayor Justin Lester says the incident was “unacceptable”. “Councillors and I have sent our best wishes for a speedy recovery to the officer.” The alleged offender, a 39-year-old man, was arrested and released on bail. He is due to appear at the Wellington District Court on Friday, charged with wounding with intent to injure.
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Cook Strait News 12-04-18