Alice was nine months pregnant when the quake hit. She was out the back of their home, built in 1904 and about 1.5km from town. She was holding the knob of the back door when the ground started to move.
“I just stood there, I couldn’t move,” Mrs Snooke, now 74, said. “The earth was literally rolling. If I had tried to walk, I would have fallen over. I wasn’t scared, that’s the funny thing. All I was thinking of was our little girl in her cot inside. She was having her morning sleep.
“When the quake stopped, I knew the house had collapsed. I couldn’t get to the cot from the back, so I ran around to the front of the house to find some way to get in. Eventually I decided to go through the front bay windows, which had imploded.
“I could hear the baby. She was crying. I eventually got to her. She was still in the cot. She was covered in mortar, but only had a few scratches.
“It was incredible that she survived. Most of the walls in the house fell over, but the wall next to the cot just crumbled down.
“I didn’t realise it had been an earthquake. I thought it had been a mini-tornado. At that point I decided to walk into town, to find a phone box and ring my in-laws to make sure they were OK.
“I got about one-third of the way and a man in a ute came along and asked where I was going. He told me it had been an earthquake and there was no point going into town because it was destroyed. He agreed to drive me back to the homestead. Twenty-five years later, I learnt the identity of the man in the ute. He was a lovely man from Kellerberrin. “When I got back I realised my husband had been looking for me and our daughter. He thought we were under the rubble. Ten days later, I gave birth to our first son.”