Old Bucky & Me: Dispatches from the Christchurch Earthquake
On February 22, 2011, journalist Jane Bowron had been living back in her hometown of Christchurch for three years when the city was struck by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake – just five months after a 7.1 earthquake. The first quake had caused damage but no fatalities. This time it was the ultimate horror story. Countless city buildings crashed to the ground and many people were killed. Others were trapped in rubble and raging fires. Whole suburbs were decimated as houses collapsed, hillsides fell away and the ground liquefied into oceans of silt. As the historic city lay in ruins, Bowron managed to find a phone, call her newspaper and deliver a moving human account of the scene around her. For the next three months, she continued to send regular dispatches of everyday life being lived in the most extraordinary of circumstances, as she and everyone else in Christchurch struggled to cope with grief, loss and the new reality. Brilliantly written and suffused with unexpected humour, Bowron's stories have become a modern classic – a rare and priceless account of how human beings can survive and overcome even the most terrible of tragedies in the most ordinary of ways.
Jane Bowron is a freelance journalist based in Christchurch. A TV columnist for The Dominion Post and columnist for The Press, she has been a TV reviewer for The Evening Post, The Sunday Star-Times, National Radio's Nine to Noon, Radio Live and Newstalk ZB, a media commentator for Newstalk ZB, a feature writer for The Sunday Star-Times and, under the pseudonym of Dawn Dusk, an agony aunt for The Dominion. Her collected poetry, Scenes Away from the Crime, was published in 1984.