Backpacker tells of NZ quake hell

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A FORMER Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School pupil has told of her good fortune after escaping unhurt following the earthquake which devastated Christchurch last week.

Kathy Ibbetson, a 67-year-old nurse, arrived in New Zealand after giving up on a course teaching English as a foreign language in Sydney and deciding to enjoy the sunshine while backpacking around the region.

A bus driver had warned her a tremor had been forceast for February 20, two days before it actually occurred, but she pressed ahead with her plans after he predicted only a “shake and a rattle”.

Miss Ibbetson was staying at a Youth Hostelling Association hostel in Christchurch while waiting for friend Judith Madsen, also a former Lancaster woman who lives two hours from Christchurch, to return from a holiday with her husband Kjell.

See the Lancaster Guardian (04-03-11) for full story.