The rugby field and part of the vineyard

Mt. St. Mary’s,
P.O. Box 43,

Dear Mum & Dad,

It was great news to hear that Francie is going to have a baby in November. My Diaconate will probably be right at the end of November or even December. Also there would probably be quite a lot of red-tape to go through before doing any baptisms! So it might be wise to abandon the idea of my doing any baptisms!

Well, we had our weekend out at Waimarama. You said that couldn’t have picked a worse weekend, but from another point of view I couldn’t have picked a better. We went out there after lunch on the Friday & by Saturday it was raining. And then most of Sunday it was raining too. But we fulfilled every seminarian’s dream by getting stranded out there! The Waimarama Road was blocked with slips so we had to stay out there an extra day, while everyone else at the Mount had classes. Another advantage of being out at Camp for the storm was that we were warm. Napier & Hastings were completely cut off from heating & light, & they couldn’t even flush their toilets. Although we didn’t have light, we had a roaring log fire going the whole time inside, & we always sleep on mattresses around the fire. So while the whole of Hawkes Bay was shivering we were enjoying a holiday at the beach. Fortunately I had my radio/cassette out there running on batteries, so we kept up with the news.

The whole of Waimarama Beach Domain was under several feet of water. Someone said that the Domain has now become a tidal area. This was no doubt helped by the tidal waves the coast had several days after the storm, although not connected with the storm itself. You probably read in the papers that they had predicted the tidal waves (50 feet) for some time because of the position of the moon & the sun to the earth.

On the way back from Waimarama to the Mount we saw a lot of damage. There were a lot of slips, whole plantations of gum & a macrocarpa were blown down. Most of Clive was under water. Our farm, just behind the Napier Fertilizer Works, had so much water on it that you couldn’t even see the tops of the fences.

It was cold the day after the storm, but then the wind changed & it’s been hot & cloudless ever since. We also had quite a large earthquake the day before yesterday; so with earthquakes, floods & tidal waves, it’s quite an exciting place to be living.

We finish exams on Fri 12th July, & Camp starts on Sat. 13th July. If you are going on holiday in about three weeks & passing through Napier, the weekend of 13th, 14th July would be the best time from my point of view. I am not going away teaching these holidays; but I thought if you were coming up at any stage, that the 1st weekend of the holidays would be best. But if that time doesn’t suit you, the holidays go from Sat. 13th July to Sat. 3rd August. The van trips between the Mount & Camp are on Tuesdays & Fridays, so if you could work in with those, otherwise I’ll have to spend ¾ of a week in at the Mount messing around!

Well, I must go to morning tea.

Love from

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