The basement at Ballantynes

My son Thomas and Dad were in the basement of Ballantynes a year ago when the earthquake struck. I’ll never forget that frantic 10 minutes after getting a text from Mum “bad stake, I hope Tom and Dad are ok”.  Bloody predictive text – I didn’t realise at first what she meant.

I went down there after Christmas, down to the basement at Ballantynes I mean and checked it out. I sat there and reflected on what was a what could have been for my family. Lucky we all were, with people killed only a few dozen metres away.

Thomas has just returned from Europe, engaged to be married, and I don’t mind admitting I like having him safely back home. It felt especially poignant today thinking about a year ago when I felt, for a short time, absolutely powerless and anxious for him and Dad.

There was a lot of luck a year ago. Bad luck and good luck. We got the good one but it’s people just like us all that died.

I hope that those who are bereaved find some peace soon.



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