Our scheduled Guest Speaker had to withdraw due to illness, and so our very own Peter McSkimming stood in at short notice and talked about the Meckering earthquake. It happened on the morning of Monday 14th October 1968 (nearly 53 years ago!) and registered 6.9 on the Richter scale. Although it lasted for only 40 seconds it brought widespread destruction to many buildings in the town – mostly those built of stone or brick. Happily there were no deaths and the injuries suffered by 20 or so people were all minor. The surface fault line stretched for 32 kms and threw up mounds of up to 2 metres high, and not surprisingly the Kalgoorlie water pipeline was ruptured, the railway to Adelaide was buckled and fractured, telephone lines were cut, and the Perth to Adelaide highway became impassable. The three churches in the town plus the bank and the Shire hall were all irrevocably damaged, and 80% of the houses were damaged or destroyed. This caused significant practical difficulties such as where people should sleep, and as the houses were virtually all unsafe, many took to sleeping on hay bales in steel framed sheds. The Salvation Army was quickly on the scene with a soup kitchen, and the laborious task of cleaning up started almost immediately. The earthquake had significant financial implications as well, particularly as many insurance policies did not include cover for such events. There was also an unfortunate division in the town caused by people having to choose publicly whether they favoured rebuilding on the site or relocating the town to a nearby place. Peter, with Jean’s help, also presented many slides which graphically showed what befell the town and its 240 or so residents.