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  1. #1
    Lifetime Member lakewoodlady's Avatar
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    Default Who remembers the day the Wahine sank?

    RIP all those who lost their lives during the Wahine sinking 49 years ago today.....

    LL.
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  2. #2
    Trying to fiddle less! R.M.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Who remembers the day the Wahine sank?

    Yes I do. And then in May we left by sea for a year in Scotland. The following year 1969, we came back to NZ by sea again, into Wellington Harbour. The wreck of the Wahine was still sitting on Barrett Reef. A truly terrible disaster.
    Now-if I could just remember where I left my brain...

  3. #3
    Retired old codger kenj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who remembers the day the Wahine sank?

    Very sad. I was living in Auckland at the time and I remember a palm tree over the road from my shop being so close to being blown over by the wind...... and we were hundreds of Km from Wellington.

    RIP all you people on her.

    Ken

  4. #4
    Lifetime Member lakewoodlady's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who remembers the day the Wahine sank?

    On the 10th April 1968 I was 20 years old and my memories of that day are very clear in my mind. In New Plymouth that morning, sitting around the kitchen table were my father, sister, brother in law, brother and me.


    I was due to take the train to Wellington, to catch the ferry to Christchurch, when we heard on the radio that the inter island ferry Wahine, was in trouble in bad weather at the entrance to Wellington harbor. The others at the table joked about the bad weather and that “It was going to sink” and I “shouldn’t bother going if I were you!”


    It was the ferry that I was supposed to catch to Christchurch. I didn’t know at the time that my other brother was meant to be on the Wahine and that he missed out on getting a berth on it. He wanted to come to Wellington and surprise me and travel back together.


    I caught the train around 9 am and as we got closer to Wellington the weather got worse and I saw trees down on the road and all the traffic held up. Someone on the train had a transistor radio and we were listening to the updates on the ferry situation. It was not good and by the time we reached Wellington, it had indeed sunk!


    Wellington railway station was in utter chaos when I arrived and there were bus loads of survivors being brought in to the station as that was the designated place for the civil defence. I was pretty worried by that time, not knowing if my brother had been on it or not and I kept listening to the announcements of the passenger list over the PA system.


    It seemed like a long time before I found out from someone that I was able to get accommodation at “The People’s Palace” a hotel in Willis St. The shipping company paid for it for any one holding tickets for the Wahine’s return sailing to Christchurch. My memory fails me at this point but somehow I got word to my family in New Plymouth to let them know that I was going to be returning home the next day. In the meantime, they’d had a telegram from my brother in Christchurch saying that he wasn’t on the Wahine.


    That night, I and all the other patrons at the hotel cried as we sat around the television and watched the news report of the sinking. So many heroic stories and so many tragic ones emerged from that terrible day in NZ shipping history. One in particular I recall, was told to me on the bus on the way back to New Plymouth the next day. I sat next to an elderly lady who had been washed up on Seatoun beach. She had been helped ashore by a young man, but he went back into the sea before she was even able to get his name.


    51 people lost their lives. That is one day in my life I can never forget.

    LL
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  5. #5
    88 Valley Nelson Arnie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who remembers the day the Wahine sank?

    Yes how could I forget it is my birthday and got married a month later and still happy. RIP to all those who did not make it.

  6. #6
    Modulator Greg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who remembers the day the Wahine sank?

    Yeah, me and my mum were actually heading to Wellington at the time. I was only really small at the time.
    Kool-Aid Black Cherry! Get it here!

  7. #7
    Rocket Dog WalOne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who remembers the day the Wahine sank?

    Thanks Lakewoodlady, for your detailed recollections.

    We were living in OZ at the time with no TV coverage in those days and we had to wait for a couple of weeks before copies of the Dom arrived for us to read and look at the images. Like Erebus, I think most people had some connection to at least one of the passengers. In my case it was a couple of air hostesses from NAC (both survivors), and a good friend to this day who revels in having made the front page of Time magazine (one of the survivors in a lifeboat about to beach).
    I have very high hopes that seriousness is a reversible condition.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member pctek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who remembers the day the Wahine sank?

    49 yrs? So I was a kid.

    But my father was in wgtn, he got picked up physically by the wind and thrown right across the road.
    wipe your paws.

  9. #9
    Soaring like an Eagle gary67's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who remembers the day the Wahine sank?

    No I was 1 and in England

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Who remembers the day the Wahine sank?

    Yep I remember it well. Working in ChCh at TV Transmitter on Mt Sugarlooaf.
    Wind was picking up rocks the size of ones head, from the hill behind the building and throwing them at the building - 2 broken enormously thick plate glass windows.
    Massive, but nothing compared with the unfolding Wellington Tragedy.
    The floggings will continue until morale improves.
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