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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 7 (November 1, 1927)

Value of Sport

page 23

Value of Sport.

In a recent speech to railwaymen, Mr. A. W. Hutchings (formerly Chief Assistant Accountant) spoke strongly in favour of sport.

“In New Zealand,” he said, “and particularly in the Railways, the social side was too much neglected. People were not friendly enough with one another. They were too cold and kept their natural feelings down, ignoring the reality of their human brotherhood. There was usually not much difference in the mental calibre of the men with whom they associated. He thought more attention should be paid to play. So long as they played hard while they played and worked hard while they worked they were qualifying themselves for the higher positions. Conditions had greatly improved. Some of the younger men already had Mr. Simmons ‘£5 a week’ and more, and chances for further progress were open until they could arrive at a point where they could hold the Chief Accountant's position. He greatly appreciated superannuation. Not many of those present would realise how much work had to be done to get it. He remembered when a feeling of depression was upon every railway officer-they had little to look forward to and the chances of ease and comfort in their old age seemed remote. They should thank God for the men who had worked so hard and spent so many hours to bring about the Superannuation Fund.

While abroad he had opportunity to talk to railway executives, and was astonished at the attitude they adopted towards sport. They arranged for their men to go in for it-to throw off the trammels of work. “A day off at the races” he said, amidst laughter, “is the best thing in the world.”