The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 4 (July 1, 1935.)
Explosives, with Care
Explosives, with Care.
In those days all stores and other commodities had to be brought from Tauranga by wagon. One of the Bird family, a brother-in-law of McRae, had arrived the day previous to the eruption with a full load. Amongst the cargo was a box for us, sent by Mr. E. Adams (now Borough Engineer at the Thames), who had been in our camp some weeks previously. We had then discussed a new explosive called “blasting gelatine,” of which we had no knowledge. Amongst the contents of the box was a parcel which, from its outward appearance, we judged to be this “blasting gelatine,” and, in consequence, treated it with the utmost respect. I handled it most carefully, and placed it in a large earthenware jar; it was left in the wash-house, detached from the main dwelling (which was burnt down).
During the night we spent in the fowlhouse I wondered what would happen if the fire from the dwelling spread to the wash-house where the earthenware jar was deposited. However, the wash-house was intact, and a few days afterwards I went to see what the explosive was like. On carefully undoing the parcel I found it contained preserved bananas!