Editorial by Dave Moran
These are the words I have heard from the owners of the three main dive stores when a 7.1 earthquake slammed Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island at 4am on Saturday 4 September 2010.
Managing directors, Brian Franks, Dive HQ & Ski World, Richard Boyle, Moby Dick’s Dive Centre and Paul Roberts, Underwater Sports all had different outcomes as a result of the quake. Brian has to relocate his business due to the old building he operated from being tagged for demolition. Richard and Paul’s shops have survived okay and are open for business.
Brian is also managing to operate as best he can while looking for new premises.
During my phone conversations with them what came through loud and clear and made me more aware of the magnitude of the event was the personal experiences they and their loved ones endured when the first shake hit.Being tumbling out of bed in the blackness of the night, the inability of being able to stand up, being thrown around like a rag doll with any loose bedroom fittings – realizing you had no control as to what was happening around you.
A mind numbing situation that is virtually impossible to explain to anyone who has not been through such an event.
Brian commented, ‘Like 100 street jack hammers pounding your house while two bulldozers violently shoved the house from side to side! We are in shock and awe at the scale of what Mother Nature can deliver!’ Their training pool emptying itself all through the retail section of the shop!
It was unbelievable that no one suffered any major physical injuries.
You have to applaude the resilience of the Christchurch people and their ability to pick themselves up out of the rubble, look around and think, ‘Shit that was not nice, now what do I have to do to get my family and my employees’ lives back to some form of normality?’
Brian, Richard and Paul had smiles in their voices – they knew that things could have been a lot worse – summer is coming, so life is good!
I reflected on their positive attitude to sweep aside what had happened, especially Brian, who has to relocate his business.
In these recessionary times the Dive Industry, like most recreational retail businesses in New Zealand and I suggest through out the world, are finding business tough.
When you think you’re having a bad business day/week or month spare a few seconds for your industry’s mates in Christchurch.
If all in the industry had their attitude the sun would be shining every day – think about it!
To all you divers out there, when you are tempted to buy your diving equipment from offshore online shops, take a moment and think through what is best for you as far as equipment advice, warranty issues, plus knowing your local dive store is just down the road to fill your cylinders, give advice and take you diving. Buying locally has numerous benefits for all divers.
Being in control is always best!
Summer is just around the corner – it’s going to be a ripper I can feel it in my bones!