Oldest Christchurch Earthquake Survivors 3/3/2011

Christchurch Earthquake 22 February 2011

Talking about Food – There is no shortage in Christchurch. And nor is there in Timaru, where many Christchurch people have gone to reside.

People have been extraordinarily generous with their gifts of food for the victims of the Christchurch Earthquake: Teams of people are still at work all over Christchurch, and Timaru too, preparing food for the hungry people of Christchurch.

A couple were featured last night on ‘Close-Up’, hosted by Mark Sainsbury. This couple is not going anywhere:

While many other people are fleeing Christchurch, this elderly couple refuse to leave. They have no running water, and still no power, yet they are adamant they will not leave their home. They are battling these adverse conditions, despite their age.

Bert and Pat are in their 90’s and have been married for 77 years. Bert says Pat is an excellent cook, which was what really endeared him to her all those years ago, and why their marriage has been so harmonious.

They have 14 children, and the eldest is 76 years old. Bert says that when he comes to visit, the place looks ‘like an old folk’s home’, when they are all sitting around together.

Bert and Pat met when she was 13. She has always loved him, thinks the world of him, and will stay with Bert unto the end. They are determined not to go into a home, even though both are nearly blind. They are devoted to each other.

They have loving children who come in regularly to help along.

Many people have left Christchurch in droves – 5000 people were reported a few days ago as having gone to Timaru, which is only a couple of hours away, at a guess. The Timaru mayor, Jane Annear, has welcomed the newcomers with open arms, as have many Timaru people.

I wouldn’t have thought that there were even 5,000 homes in Timaru, but there you go: People have accommodated them somehow. Many caravans have been donated to the homeless in Timaru, and we saw these pictured on ‘Close-Up’.

to be continued – I had a post written up on last night’s close-up, but it seems to have disappeared on my lap-top. I currently am indebted to McDonald’s and to the Auckland Public library for their internet facilities.


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