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Christchurch (New Zealand) earthquake


churchmouse
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Hi everyone - Just to forestall writing another 100 emails in reply to very anxious inquiries from around the world, I can tell you virtually nothing about the fate of the Rieger organ in the Christchurch Town Hall after the 7.1 earthquake on Saturday that caused so much damage.

 

We are unable yet to enter the CBD due to curfew and police cordons but are doing our best to check out the organ. First indications however suggest that superficially at least, there has been no major damage. It was built, along with all modern buildings in New Zealand, with earthquakes very much in mind. I am posting news on the www.nzorgan.com website and hopefully by Wednesday the area will have been cleared so we can access it to look more closely. I'll put something here also when we find out more.

 

The fate of other organs is also unknown although I believe the Rugby Street church and St John's Hororata took a hit. Both cathedrals had superficial damage we are told but again, no word - if anyone can contribute news, that would be great.

 

But best of all, there has been no loss of life so far. After shocks are continuing (a couple of 5.1 caused a little more distress) and many people have lost their homes but we are coping reasonably well. Thanks to all those very kind people who wrote with great concern in the hours after the initial hit. For more general info, see The Press newspaper

Sorry if this is a little off-topic.

cheerful noises from two very shaken and stirred kiwis,

 

Jellified and wobbly churchmouse

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I'm sure that everyone on the Mander Board will join me in sending Jenny (and hubbie), as well as the whole organ community of New Zealand, our unqualified support and best wishes at this difficult time.

 

I'm sure we will find out the details of any damage in due course, but in the meantime, we can express our relief, knowing that no-one has lost their life.

 

MM

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UPDATE:

Thanks to all for your best wishes - I know you all empathise with the worries about these instruments. At the moment the focus here is more on the continuing aftershocks and the huge loss of livelihoods and properties and the promise of many months of angst to follow. But we're all alive which matters most.

Martin and I were able to visit the Town Hall organ for first time yesterday and I'm happy to say that there is nothing to report! All pipes were sounding and it was remarkably in tune. THere may be issues with dust and minor debris which will surface later. Ken Aplin will make a close inspection and tune the organ next week in time for Carlo Curley's concert on the 19th - we are assuming that all will be well enough for the concert to continue. The Convention Centre itself has had only some smallish damage such as ceilings, chandeliers, various glass and a carpet that is torn where the walk way bridge pulled away from the two buildings it connects. But apart from that it's all tickety-boo. (we were glad to leave however - the threat of aftershocks is very real, as we has sustained 270 since Saturday over 3 on the Richter scale and at least three of 5.1 at a depth of less than 10km, which means they are very wobbly indeed.) After substantial shocks again yesterday that created more damage throughout the city the building may need to be reassessed, and at the moment it is cleared on the outside and still has to be assessed for further interior damage. A very complicated affair all round!

Yesterday the Cathedral remained closed as cracks that had appeared in the building were being assessed. Not sure what the outcome is yet as it is still in the cordoned off zone in the CBD. The state of emergency is expected to be lifted next Wednesday.

 

Those who know Christchurch and are curious to learn the fate of various churches in the affected region can find a wealth of information on Bosco Peter's blog here

Cheerful noises and thanks again for all your support through emails and prayers

 

Twitchy Churchmouse

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  • 2 weeks later...

They build them tough down here. Generally the pipe organs have fared much better than the buildings they are in. There are only three organs that I know of silenced directly by the earthquakes so far.

St. John the Baptist Anglican Latimer Square - 1864 Holdich et. al. I haven't seen the organ as the building is still red carded, but the bell tower landed on the blower.

St. Matthew's Anglican St. Alban's - 1922 Brett / 1960 Strachan organ moved and main trunking damaged, front pipes fallen out.

St. Mary's Anglican Halswell - 1922 Pearce / Croft - liquefaction half buried the blower under the floor.

 

At least eight others are silenced at this stage because the buildings have yet to be stabilised and are unsafe to enter. Some will have to be removed after the buildings are secured to enable the building repairs to be completed.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Make that four, one (St. John's Hororata) was sideswiped by a falling tower. Seriously wounded, but it does not look fatal.

 

It looks pretty fatal to me, at least in terms of 'economic' repair! I have a rather good photograph of the damage (devastation) - is it possible to put in on here or do we have to put a link to it on another site?

 

DW

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It looks pretty fatal to me, at least in terms of 'economic' repair! I have a rather good photograph of the damage (devastation) - is it possible to put in on here or do we have to put a link to it on another site?

 

DW

 

 

====================

 

 

Oops.......now that's what I call a 'Baroke' organ.

 

How are the bells?

 

:unsure:

 

MM

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  • 4 months later...
Good gracious... apparently another strong earthquake has struck.

"Only" 6.3 on the Richter scale, so smaller than the last one, but the damage is much more extensive and there have been multiple fatalities. Sky News are saying that the cathedral has been damaged (spire has collapsed) and they have been showing live footage from outside the Pyne Gould Guinness building which has completely collapsed - and that's not far away from the Town Hall.

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BBC News has shown pictures of the Cathedral and also footage of parts of the spire collapsing after the main shock, the damage to the City looks terrible, can we hold in prayer the souls of the people who lost their lives, their families and all the people who have been affected by this terrible disaster. I know they are fearing after shocks.

I hope and pray that members of this forum who live in Christchurch, are safe.

Barrie

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BBC News has shown pictures of the Cathedral and also footage of parts of the spire collapsing after the main shock, the damage to the City looks terrible, can we hold in prayer the souls of the people who lost their lives, their families and all the people who have been affected by this terrible disaster. I know they are fearing after shocks.

I hope and pray that members of this forum who live in Christchurch, are safe.

Barrie

 

'Just had a post through on another forum to say that apparently three organ builders from the South Island Organ Company are/were trapped in the ruins of a Methodist Church - three others got out.

 

A

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'Just had a post through on another forum to say that apparently three organ builders from the South Island Organ Company are/were trapped in the ruins of a Methodist Church - three others got out.

 

A

 

One of my friends from Chester, who's a choral scholar at Christ Church Cathedral said he just metres away from the spire as it started to collapse. I assume he ran for it. What a terrible shame about that victorian tower and spire, though the loss of life around the city is much more tragic of course.

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BBC News has shown pictures of the Cathedral and also footage of parts of the spire collapsing after the main shock, the damage to the City looks terrible, can we hold in prayer the souls of the people who lost their lives, their families and all the people who have been affected by this terrible disaster. I know they are fearing after shocks.

I hope and pray that members of this forum who live in Christchurch, are safe.

Barrie

 

 

The pictures of the shattered Cathedral - the only one in NZ to maintain a full choral tradition (with boys) - are heart-breaking. Other pictures suggest that the nearby RC Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament - a vast and austerely beautiful basilica with a stunning instrument by Halmshaw of Birmingham - has also suffered severe damage.

 

JS

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My wife and I have just returned from a 3 week walking tour of South Island and were in Christchurch at the beginning of the holiday and also last Thursday.

We are stunned by what's happened and recognized many of the ruined places shown in the various TV video clips, a few of our group are still out there.

We were told that the Catholic Basilica was damaged in the September earthquake and had been closed-off since then.

I gather from Jenny's website that the Townhall Rieger has only just undergone a major injection of additional material; we had a walk around the outside of the building last week, but couldn't gain access. I wonder how it's fared?

DT

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'Just had a post through on another forum to say that apparently three organ builders from the South Island Organ Company are/were trapped in the ruins of a Methodist Church - three others got out.

 

A

 

Indeed - including an occasional poster on this board. He was in hospital overnight but is, as far as I know not badly injured. As Alastair has said, three others are (or were) still trapped in the wreckage - Durham Street Methodist Church.

 

I have seen stills of the damage to the Anglican Cathedral, it does look to be fairly serious.

 

I also send my best wishes for a speedy recovery - both physical and emotional - to those injured in this dreadful event.

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three others are (or were) still trapped in the wreckage - Durham Street Methodist Church.

I gather that these three (SIOC foreman Neil Stocker, organbuilder's mate Scott Lucy and Christchurch helper Paul Dunlop) have sadly not survived.

 

Paul

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It's on their Facebook wall.

 

Paul

Thanks. I have clicked the "Like" button on their Facebook. I left the following message from all members of this forum:

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The very sad news regarding the loss of your 3 staff in the rubble of Durham St. Methodist Church was posted on the forum of Mander Organs (an organ building company) based in London, UK. May I express deepest condolences from all members of the forum to colleagues and families of those killed.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Hope you all don't mind me doing that.

 

Dave

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