I nearly fell of my chair when my cousin Graham Ansell’s face appeared in the One News review of the year’s events.
I knew Graham, Diann and family had a lucky escape from the Samoan tsunami, but I didn’t know his story had been filmed – or that he’d helped to raise $15,000 for the survivors.
(I even found his story on the BBC News site.)
It’s no wonder Graham was moved to help. He spent several happy years of his childhood in Apia, where his father, my Uncle Bill, was manager of the Bank of Western Samoa (then owned by the BNZ).
Ironically it was to his old house (now the ANZ manager’s house) that his family was evacuated after the tsunami.
If you’d like to donate money to Graham’s fund, comment here and I’ll forward your email address to him.
Of course, today is the fifth anniversary of the cataclysmic Boxing Day Tsunami that killed 300,000 people from Indonesia to Sri Lanka.
Another friend, Sam Visvalingam from Lower Hutt, had a miraculous escape from that one, saved only by the collapse of a concrete wall that had been blocking his escape.
Wow, I just googled cataclysm to check it was the right word. I had no idea how right…
Wikipedia: cataclysm is the Greek expression for the Deluge, from the Greek kataklysmos, to ‘wash down’ (kluzein “wash” + kata “down”).