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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 12 (March 1, 1935)

The Hand of Providence

The Hand of Providence.

That night Mr. Lundius and his chief, Mr. J. C. Blythe, were staying with Mr. Haszard, the Wairoa schoolmaster and his family. They saved some inmates of the house, but Mr. Haszard and the young children were killed by the fall of the mud-loaded roof, and Mrs. Haszard was fatally injured. “When we got Mrs. Haszard out of the ruins of the house,” says Mr. Lundius, “she was very weak, and I went down to McRae's Hotel to search for some brandy for her. The place was in ruins and I had small hope of finding anything intact. But to my great astonishment and relief I found that the bar-room was quite in order. Not a bottle or a glass broken. It was the only room in the hotel that was not damaged by the collapse of the roof. I found the brandy for the poor suffering lady. I used to have a joke with some of my teetotal friends about it afterwards, once we had got over the tragic side of it. What moral does that point, I asked, when I told how every bottle of waipiro escaped. Someone retorted, ‘Oh, the devil looks after his own.’”