Not until the Wednesday, four days after the big shake, were we allowed to go in to check on the state of the organ in the Town Hall. Authorities had discouraged unnecessary travel for all but essential services, and normally bustling and crowded streets were shockingly deserted. Normally cheerful Andy Grainger from Town Hall operations vBase let us in and we nervously made our way through the eerily silent marble foyer. It ghostly and ghastly.
One glance at the suspended bulb lights told a story: they had swung so violently they had entangled themselves. Along the promenade, the carpet meeting the overbridge gangway had split with the force of the thrust.
But apart from that, everything looked incredibly normal. The most abnormal thing was the absence of people or any sound at all; especially after the ferocious earthquake noises, the silence was chilling.
Visit after September 4th, Mag. 7.1 earthquake, 2010
With aftershocks still rumbling on through, we checked the organ as quickly as possible. Miracle of miracles, nothing had moved. AND, it was still perfectly in tune. The organ was as fine as ever - a real tribute to the craftsmanship of the Rieger builders.
A decision was made to go ahead with the scheduled concert by Carlo Curley, on September 20th, despite on-going aftershocks.