Today marks the 67th anniversary of the Ballantynes’ Fire. The fire at the Ballantynes Department store in Christchurch on 18 November 1947 was the worst fire in New Zealand’s history and 41 people died.
If you want to find out more about this tragic event, Christchurch City Libraries has a resource that features transcripts of articles from newspapers and other sources about the fire. It includes contemporary news reports and photographs.
Archives New Zealand, Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga, has posted news reel footage from the National Film Unit. It’s gripping.
A special ceremony today will celebrate the completed rebuild of the Ballantynes fire memorial at the Ruru Lawn Cemetery in Bromley. Relatives of people who died in the fire will attend.