Richter Ale set for quake commemoration

19 Jul, 2018 04:00 AM
Rebekah Burges, one of the driving forces behind the Meckering Earthquake 50th anniversary, stands in front of the Snooke family home that was destroyed by the quake in 1968.
Rebekah Burges, one of the driving forces behind the Meckering Earthquake 50th anniversary, stands in front of the Snooke family home that was destroyed by the quake in 1968.

BARLEY that will be used in a commemorative beer at the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Meckering Earthquake in October, will be transported to Esperance in coming weeks for brewing.

Grown by Meckering farmer Jeff Snooke, 250 kilograms of Bass barley will be used by Nigel Metz from Lucky Bay Brewing, Esperance, to produce the limited-edition drop.

The beer will be known as Richter Ale after the earthquake flattened most of Meckering on October 14, 1968, measuring 6.9 on the Richter Scale and injuring 20 people.

It will be one of the many anniversary weekend highlights that kick off with a dinner on Saturday, October 13 before the formal commemoration will be held on Sunday, October 14.

Event co-ordinator Rebekah Burges said interest in the beer was already strong with many pre-ordering six-packs, available for $28 each.

Apart from the pre-orders, the beer will also be served over the weekend.

Members of the organising committee will also soon travel to Esperance to be part of the brewing process and then return to apply the special labels that have been designed and will also appear on stubbie holders.

Ms Burges said a sit-down dinner for 190 people in a marque in the middle of town on the Saturday night had already sold-out, with hundreds more on a waiting list.

The marque will also be used for official events and stalls on the following day.

Sunday’s proceedings kick off at 10am with local stalls before the official opening from 10.15am and a Moment of Reflection at 10.59am – the exact time the earthquake shook the town 50 years earlier.

This will be followed by the opening of the Earthquake Walk Trail that is being updated with new signage.

In the afternoon a panel of local residents will be on the main stage to reflect on their earthquake experiences.

Ms Burges said there would be plenty of entertainment on the Sunday, including performances by Country Music Channel Female Artist of the Year, Chelsea Basham, who grew up in Wongan Hills, along with a Scitech Science Show, a pop-up bar and carnival rides for children.

She said there were still opportunities for community groups to have stalls at the event but said everyone had to be self-sufficient and supply their own shelter, furniture and generator power if required.

Stall applications close on Tuesday, July 31.

Plans are in place for Transwa to run a coach service from Perth to Meckering for the Sunday.

The earthquake destroyed most major structures in the town centre including a bank, hotel, shire hall and churches.

Of the 75 houses in the community, 60 were condemned, along with major damage to the Goldfields pipeline and railway tracks.

For more information on the event or to pre-order the commemorative beer, go to



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