Meckering celebrates 50

On October 14, 1968,  a  6.5-magnitude earthquake destroyed the Wheatbelt town of Meckering.

On that same date 50 years on, the community of Meckering – with the support of the Shire of Cunderdin – will host the Meckering Earthquake 50th Anniversary commemorative event.

Event organiser Rebekah Burges said the celebratory event will have something for everyone.

“For the younger generations there will be a range of free attractions including a Science Wonderland and Science Shows provided by Scitech, carnival rides, face painting and laser quest,” she said.

“For the history buffs we will have an earthquake theatre with vision of the earthquake aftermath as well as a photographic and media display.  There will also be an opportunity to hear the recollections of Meckering residents who experienced the earthquake”.

The newly revamped Meckering Earthquake Historic Walk Trail will be open to visitors all day.

Site tours out to the fault line and earthquake ruins will be offered free of charge thanks to the Meckering Action Group.

After perusing the large range of market stalls visitors are invited to sit back and enjoy the musical entertainment provided by Chelsea Basham and performances by the Meckering Primary School and Toodyay Ballet school.

Food and beverage vendors and a pop-up bar selling Meckering’s own Richter Ale which was brewed specifically for the anniversary from Meckering grown barley.

First settled in 1887, Meckering was once a thriving rural community with a population in excess of 500.

Within the townsite there once stood various retail and general stores, a large two-storey brick-veneer hotel, three churches, several service stations, a beautifully appointed public hall, an aerated waters factory, post office and two banks.

At 10.59am on Monday, October 14, 1968 an earthquake changed the shape of the Meckering community.

Before that day the town of Meckering contained 51 occupied dwellings, 12 private businesses and 15 buildings devoted to Government, public or sporting uses. Only 16 houses and three businesses survived the earthquake.

On that day major roads fractured, telephone and power lines were cut, railway lines buckled, and the mains water pipeline folded in upon itself.  Seventeen people were injured and no one was killed.

The earthquake and its aftershocks were accompanied by rupturing of the ground along a line 37 kilometres long. The Meckering Fault was the first tectonic ground break in Australia.

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