Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

14 September 2010

Canterbury Earthquake: Terrace Station, Hororata

This is my watercolour from ‘New Zealand House and Cottage” of  Terrace Station, Hororata. It has been in the Hall family since 1862 when it was bought by John and Rose Hall. John, later knighted, became prime minister of New Zealand from 1879 to 1852.

His descendent, Godfrey Hall and his wife, Peggy became friends of ours in the 1960s and we often visited them at Terrace Station. It is now occupied by his daughter Kate Foster and her husband Richard.

I telephoned Kate just after the Canterbury earthquake to see if there had been any damage. I was horrified to hear that of the house’s seven chimneys, six had tumbled; there was much more damage but it was too early to assess its full extent and Richard and Kate were clearly in the middle of trying to sort themselves out, so I left her in peace – well, from me, anyway. But not before she’d told me that the church Sir John had founded, St. John’s. Hororata, had lost half its stone tower which had fallen through the west end of the nave.

Terrace Station homestead will survive but it’s a sobering thought that nothing is for certain – the house withstood nearly 160 years before Nature took its price.



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By Don Donovan