Nepenthe – medicine for sorrow; drug of forgetfullness; a potion capable of making one forget suffering.
The email from the bank started sympathetically:
Dear ANZ Customer
Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the earthquake on February 22. If you’re a ANZ customer in the affected area, we know you’ve got a lot going on at the moment and we’re doing everything we can to make things easier for you.
Any ANZ Home Loan and Business Banking customers that live in the Christchurch area who have been affected by the earthquake will be offered:
* three months repayment holiday on their loans (including business banking loans)
* $1,000 overdraft or increase of $1,000 to existing personal overdraft or revolving credit facilities.
But then it said:
Also due to the Canterbury Earthquake, we have lost some of our customers internet banking details,so please click the link below to enter your Customer Registration Number and Password details correctly so we can help you update your account:
That’s a definite spam alert – that and the fact we don’t bank with ANZ anyway.
Even in a national emergency no opportunity is lost by spammers who want to get hold of someone else’s money.
Quote of the day from the UC Volunteer Army:
“These orientation activities seem much more constructive than mine did 25 years ago!”
There must be something else going on in the world, haven’t we had enough of the earthquake? an email to a radio station moaned last week.
There are a lot of other things going onin the world but none is as important to the whole of New Zealand than the earthquake and its aftermath.
The MSM is doing exactly what it should be in keeping people in the city and beyond informed and amongst the hard news are some heartwrenching stories.
Social media – Facebook, Twitter and blogs are keeping people in touch and also telling stories.
Many of those, like the three that follow, won’t reach the MSM but they are part of the record of the disaster.
* Yesterday afternoon I visited friends from Christchurch who’ve moved down to Wanaka with both their elderly mothers.
He was in a 12 storey building in the CBD when the quake struck – ceiling tiles fell and furniture moved as the building shuddered and swayed but it’s fairly new and appeared to escape any major damage. As soon as the shaking stopped he and his colleagues tore down the stair well and outside.
She was at home and safe though badly shaken, but they aren’t sure their house will be salvageable.
Their relief at their own safety and that of family and friends is tempered by sorrow at the devastation and tragedy in the city which is their home.
One mother was badly bruised from falling, the other was unharmed. Both had been living independently, neither wants to live by herself now.
* A friend told me of the son of other friends who was running from the quake when a fissure about a metre wide opened up in front of him. He stopped and grabbed a young Asian woman beside him who was about to fall into it. As he hauled her back the earth closed in front of them again.
* This friend has been helping friends whose son in law died when his car was crushed. They know he’s dead but they also know it could be days or even weeks before his body is returned because search and rescue efforts must concentrate on looking for anyone who might still be alive.
Desperate as they are to get him back, they understand why this is so and say that Victim Support have been amazing in helping them.
On February 28:
870 The Fourth Council of Constantinople closed.
1261 Margaret of Scotland, queen of Norway, was born (d. 1283).
1638 The Scottish National Covenant was signed in Edinburgh.
1787 The charter establishing the institution now known as the University of Pittsburgh was granted.
1824 Blondin, French tightrope walker, was born (d. 1897).
1827 The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was incorporated, becoming the first railroad in America offering commercial transportation of both people and freight.
1844 A gun on USS Princeton exploded while the boat was on a Potomac River cruise, killing eight people, including two United States Cabinet members.
1849 Regular steamboat service from the west to the east coast of the United States began with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay, 4 months 21 days after leaving New York Harbour.
1865 Wilfred Grenfell, medical missionary, was born (d. 1940).
1883 The first vaudeville theatre opened in Boston, Massachusetts.
1900 The Second Boer War: The 118-day “Siege of Ladysmith” was lifted.
1912 Clara Petacci, Italian mistress of Benito Mussolini, was born (d. 1945).
1922 The United Kingdom accepted the independence of Egypt.
1925 Harry H Corbett, English actor, was born (d. 1982).
1939 The first issue of Serbian weekly magazine Politikin zabavnik was published.
1939 – The erroneous word “Dord” was discovered in the Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition, prompting an investigation.
1942 Brian Jones, English musician (The Rolling Stones), was born (d. 1969).
1943 Charles Bernstein, American composer, was born.
1945 New Zealand soldier David Russell was executed by a Nazi firing squad in Italy.
1946 Robin Cook, British politician, was born.
1947 228 Incident: In Taiwan, civil disorder is put down with the loss of 30,000 civilian lives.
1953 Paul Krugman, American economist, Nobel laureate, was born.
1957 Cindy Wilson, American singer (The B-52′s), was born.
1958 A school bus in Floyd County, Kentucky hits a wrecker truck and plunged down an embankment into the rain-swollen Levisa Fork River. The driver and 26 children died in what remains the worst school bus accident in U.S. history.
1970 Daniel Handler, American writer, better known as Lemony Snicket, was born.
1972 The Asama-Sanso incident ended in Japan.
1972 The United States and People’s Republic of China signed the Shanghai Communiqué.
1974 Moana Mackey, New Zealand politician, was born.
1975 A major tube train crash at Moorgate station, London kills 43 people.
1985 The Provisional Irish Republican Army carried out a mortar attack on the Royal Ulster Constabulary police station at Newry, killing nine officers in the highest loss of life for the RUC on a single day.
1986 Olof Palme, Prime Minister of Sweden was assassinated in Stockholm.
1991 The first Gulf War ended.
1993 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents raided the Branch Davidian church in Waco, Texas with a warrant to arrest the group’s leader David Koresh. Four BATF agents and five Davidians die in the initial raid, starting a 51-day standoff.
1997 – The North Hollywood shootout took place.
2001 – Six passengers and four railway staff are killed and a further 82 people suffer serious injuries in the Selby rail crash.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia