How Gill Ward Survived The Devastation while 7 months’ Pregnamt In The Wahine Storm

Poetry Editor Gill Ward reports: ‘Lately in a conversation with Alan Tristram we discussed climate change and the Wahine storm.

Alan suggested I write something about it. I know about climate change but not enough to write about it.

Starting with the Ice Age

But I have always been interested in the ice age so decided to start there.

I wondered how people lived.

Humans were able to survive the Ice Age due to evolution. Human brains developed to be larger, and humans began walking completely upright.

With these advantages they were able to better plan ahead and to think about how to survive their situation. They began tracking the movement of herds for food.

They could remember the locations and types of plants that were edible. They built shelters to survive cold periods.

There is even emerging evidence to suggest that they were able to modify their shelters to make them waterproof.

Humans created tools out of stone, such as knives and hammers,to complete tasks more easily. Clothing was first developed nearly 45,000 years ago by humans in order to protect themselves from the elements.

Clothing and the needle

The needle was created between 20,000 to 30,000 years ago.

This device allowed humans to sew better clothing to aid in their survival. They created warm and waterproof clothes or the cold climate.

Then I checked out carbon footprints and did a little test to see how mine was. Not perfect but some things were ok and I was applauded for my good answers.

I suggest looking up both these subjects so much to learn but not room for me to write here.
Two horrifying storms

I have been involved in two damaging storms. The first one in 1976 when the sea came up in Raumasti South and took away the house on the land I now live, tumbling it down the sand dune to the beach. We gathered as a family and saved what we could.

The small wooden sea wall we built has not let this land move for 47 years. We are further back and feel safe.
Seven months pregnant in the Wahine storm

My second involvement was April 10 1968, seven months pregnant.
Seven months pregnant in the Wahine storm

Note for my son Nick Today 50 years ago I pretended to hear your heartbeat for the first time.

Just the worst day for a journey… into Wellington to see the baby doctor.

He put the stethoscope on my stomach, looked pleased, gave it to me and said “can you hear your baby’s heartbeat?” I didn’t like to say ‘no’ as he looked so glad so I said ‘yes that’s lovely.’

‘Worth coming out on a horrible day like this wasn’t it?’ he said.

‘Yes’, I said. ‘Then I stepped out int to the raging Wahine storm and a huge piece of roofing iron threw itself at my feet.

I rushed into a nearby cafe ordered coffee and as I looked out into Willis Street and saw a cab pull up to drop someone off.

I abandoned my coffee and rushed out and jumped into the cab and asked him to stop at the bank so I could get some money to pay him.

He waited then drove me home to our rented place in Karori through downed trees and debris and howling gales. A big part of our roof had blown off and there was a big puddle inside.

Outside the fence was down and blowing all around the garden so out I went and chased bits of wood and iron slithering in the mud before it dawned on me that I was being silly and went back inside.
So that was your prebirth adventure and yes it was worth having you.

doubt you will get a shorter article on climate change than this but it’s just a tiny comment on awareness!

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