49th Wahine Day, 10 April 2017 “The significance of the Wahine disaster for New Zealand goes well beyond the events […]Read More ›
Thank you to all those who have registered with the Wahine 50 website. Welcome to the first issue of our […]Read More ›
Cyclone Giselle, moving down from the Pacific, combined with another storm in Cook Strait and unleashed its fury. It left a trail of destruction across the country.
The Union Steam Ship Company’s ferry Wahine ran aground on Barrett Reef, listed and then sank. 51 lives were lost that day.
Fifty years on, survivors of the Wahine disaster have formed a trust to commemorate that fateful day by thanking the many, many people who, through their extraordinary response, ensured that so many people made it to safety.
Holding a meaningful commemoration is a challenge. The Wahine 50 Charitable Trust needs to raise funds for the events to be held on April 10, 2018. Beyond the events programme, the Trust proposes to assist the Wellington and Mana Coastguards with their urgent need to replace their existing rescue vessels.
That is an ambitious goal. However, the survivors of the Wahine disaster know, perhaps more than anyone, what this community is capable of when tested under the most extreme conditions.
Image: Warwick W.G.Pryce