My first real involvement came shortly after I had joined the company. I was asked to take over the project of the design for the New Zealand National Film Unit. At that time my experience on laboratory layout designs was still very limited, so it felt like being thrown into very deep waters. However, eventually I prevailed and the project got under way. Some time later I flew to Wellington to see the progress of our work.
With the New Zealand Film Unit Project Manager
A few moments away from the responsibilities of work are still in my memory. While sitting in the lounge room at our hotel an earthquake of 6.4 magnitude hit and
frightened the life out of everybody. I initially did not understand what happened as only a very loud bang complemented by some rumbling in the ground occurred, but our New Zealand friend, who had turned very pale, explained that we just experienced an earthquake. We sat under a very large glass window and if that had shattered, we could have been seriously hurt or worse. Fortunately, the quake did not cause any casualties in Wellington but in some high-rise buildings the elevator shafts twisted, and people got trapped. It took hours to free them again.
During installation of the equipment we stayed at the Taita Hotel in Lower Hut which was the weekend hotspot for the local Maori population; so, these evenings were always a source of great entertainment.
This more or less completed my involvement with this project and I could fully concentrate on all the other work on hand.