Remembering Christchurch Earthquake 10 years later.

  • 10 March 2021
  • Celia Hay

On September 4, 2010 at and then 6 months later on February 22, 2011 at 12.51pm, our beloved city of Christchurch was thrust over by a series of devasting earthquakes.

Everyone living in Christchurch has their own personal story of this time; some of tragedy or heroism, others recalling small steps to help friends or family or strangers or even to offer emotional support to rise-up again after such challenges.

On that February day, many of our students could not get back to their accommodation and for my family, our apartment in the historic Cranmer Court building was wrecked so I made the decision to re-locate as many students as possible to Pigeon Bay, my family holiday home at Akaroa or our nearby café and country store at Duvauchelle, which had beds. On the way out of Christchurch, I grabbed my mother, Judith from her retirement home at Bishops Park, so that she too could be with us and not have to grapple with the aftershocks on her own.

We lost Hay’s Restaurant on that day. Over the next few days, buoyed by the calm of Akaroa Harbour, I talked students to see if they wanted to finish off the cookery and professional wine courses at Duvauchelle. And this is what we did.

Here are some photos of a fundraising dinner with Bob Parker, the Mayor of Christchurch as our special guest. And yes these were very happy times.

Rubble of Cranmer Court apartments.

Class of February 2011.

Service team and Keri & Caroline. 

On the porch at Duvauchelle, Celia holding Alice Hay, with June Hay and my mother, Judith Hay.

Getting ready for the dinner and Oliver Hay. 

Chef tutor Philippe Meyer and preparing for the dinner at Duvauchelle.

In the kitchen at Duvauchelle Café.

Special guest, Mayor of Christchurch Bob Parker and his wife, Jo Nicholls-Parker, also a graduate of the New Zealand School of Food and Wine.

Our old home at Cranmer Court, Christchurch 2011 and Cranmer Court - patched but soon to be demolished - 2021. 

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