NAPIER EARTHQUAKE 1931
Letter from Frank Logan to Newcastle post the earthquake
A member of a well known Newcastle family, Mr. Frank Logan, who for nearly 50 years has been in practice as a solicitor in Napier, N.Z., is among the sufferers by the recent earthquake disaster. He and his family were lucky to escape with their lives, as will be gathered from a graphic account of his experiences, which he has forwarded to his brother in Newcastle, Mr. James Logan, and which we publish today.
The two brothers are sons of the late Mr. James Logan, who for 37 years was manager of the Newcastle branch of the North British and Mercantile Insurance Company. Mr. Logan served his articles as a solicitor with Mr. Joseph A. Philipson of Newcastle. He was prominent in his younger days as one of the pioneers of rugby in the district, and was a playing member of the Northumberland Rugby Football Club. He helped to introduce the game into N.Z., was president of the N.Z. Rugby Union, and has been largely instrumental in arranging the tours of The All Blacks.
MR. James Logan, the other brother, who remains in Newcastle, served with the North British and Mercantile Insurance Company for 50 years. He succeeded his father as manager of the Newcastle branch in 1898, and continued to ﬁll that ofﬁce until he retired from business in 1918. He still holds the position of chairman of the Universal Building Society, in which he also followed his father.
TERROR-STICKEN [STRICKEN] TYPISTS
In his letter which is dated February 2nd, [4th] Mr. Frank Logan states: – ” I will try to write you a little day to day. The castastrophe [catastrophe] occurred yesterday morning. Without an instant’s warning the whole town was in the throes of the most awful earthquake you can possibly imagine. What a merciful Providence that we were all saved! Ivan, my son, had a narrow shave. He was in the ofﬁce, and went to get out the typists from amidst the falling brick walls and plaster. They were terror-stricken. One collapsed altogether, and this delayed things while the walls were falling. Eventually Ivan succeeded in rescuing them all. It was impossible to put our trust account ledgers and our costs ledgers in the strong room, nor the cashboxes or anything else. Everybody was very lucky to have escaped. In the adjoining premises on one side there were deaths and on the other side a man was seriously injured while our ofﬁce people were struggling out.
A ﬁre started almost at once some distance away and soon engulfed the whole town. The