Hastings clock tower memorial

Hastings clock tower memorial Hastings clock tower memorial Hastings clock tower memorial Hastings clock tower memorial

Hastings, like its neighbouring city, Napier, was laid waste by the Hawkes Bay earthquake of 3 February 1931. Among the many buildings destroyed was the post office with its prominent clock tower and dome. As part of the town’s efforts to rebuild, a national competition was held to design a new clock tower. This was won by a local architect, Sydney Chaplin. His striking freestanding Art Deco building was completed at the intersection of  Heretaunga Street and Russell Street towards the end of 1935.

The clock tower was designed as a symbol of recovery rather than as a memorial (Clock Tower, NZ Historic Places Trust, 2005). The victims of the earthquake were buried and acknowledged with a memorial in the Hastings cemetery. However, in 1995 Hastings District Council also installed two copper plaques on the tower dedicated to the memory of those people who lost their lives in the earthquake at Hastings on 3rd February 1931. These listed 93 names (another name was added later). The names can also be found on the Hastings District Libraries website.

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