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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 7 (December 15, 1926)

Adult Classes for Railwaymen

page 26

Adult Classes for Railwaymen

During the winter months Christchurch members took advantage of the facilities provided by the Worker's Educational Association for our intellectual development.

Mr. A. H. Tocker, M.A., of Canterbury College, acted as tutor and leader of the class. Through his wide range of knowledge and ready wit, the lecturer held our attention as he led up step by step through the various stages of social and industrial development; each lecture being profusely illustrated from historical and contemporary facts. Of the series of twenty-four lectures the first fourteen were devoted to the “Economic Development of New Zealand,” and the remaining ten to “The Economics of Transportation.”

The last ten lectures were of vital interest to railwaymen, e.g., (a) four lectures were devoted to the “Fay-Raven” Commission's Report, under the heading “Management,” “Shops Organisation,” “Bate fixing,” “Statistics”; (b) The 1926 D-2 “Railway Statement” was analysed during four lectures (1) the Reports of the Minister and Railway Board; (2) the Railway Accounts, (3) Road Competition, (4) Policy.

The final lecture, Wednesday, September 29th, was devoted to a resume of the session's work, and those present will long remember the masterly summing up of the History of Transportation and of its effect on social welfare to which we were treated.

When the discussion concluded several members expressed their appreciation of the benefits received through attending the class. Mr. T. Lawless (District Engineer's Office) voiced the wishes of all the members when he said that “Mr. Tocker must consider himself detailed for the next year's session.” On behalf of the class Mr. Lawless presented the lecturer with a fountain pen as a token of their appreciation. When returning thanks Mr. Tocker explained the history and functions of the W.E.A., making an eloquent appeal to members to use their influence in any organisation of which they are members on behalf of the organisation which made the class possible.

We have to thank (1) the W.E.A. for the loan of a fine selection of books; (2) the Department for providing us with a meeting room and book cupboard; (3) the Railway Board for supplying copies of the Fay-Raven report; (4) those administrative officers who, by attending and taking part in the discussions, assisted us to appreciate some aspects of problems which might otherwise have been overlooked.

Arrangements have been made for Administrative officers to take the lead in a series of discussions, of which more anon.