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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 1 (May 1, 1928)

Record Farmers' Excursion — Canterbury's Appreciation of Southland's Hospitality

page 47

Record Farmers' Excursion
Canterbury's Appreciation of Southland's Hospitality

Reference to the record excursion of over 700 farmers and their wives from Canterbury to Southland by the recent special “Farmers’ Train” was made at the last executive meeting of the North Canterbury District Farmers’ Union.

Mr. A. Fisher, who took part in the excursion to Southland, expressed appreciation of the splendid hospitality of the Southland people. He said that all those who took part in the excursion felt extremely grateful for the many kindnesses extended to them. The banquet was a wonderful success and he did not think such a splendid function could be put on in any other town than Invercargill. There was no doubt that Southland was a wonderful province and he believed that many farmers would settle in that district and assist in making Invercargill the great city it deserved to be. He regretted that it had got abroad that many of those taking part in the excursion had been unable to secure accommodation. Within half an hour of the arrival of the train everybody had been taken to a billet. Many people waited up until 3 o'clock in the morning in order to receive the visitors, and he desired that it should be made public that there was no truth in the reports that some of the excursionists were walking the streets. All deeply appreciated what was done for them and on the return trip the sum of £75 was collected in the train. The larger portion of the amount was given to the secretary and his assistant, and the balance was to be used for the purchase of a cup to commemorate the visit. He suggested that in future the Railway Department should add something to the fares so as to be able to reimburse the people who entertained the visitors. He moved that the executive place on record its appreciation of the hospitality of the Southland farmers on the occasion of the recent visit of Canterbury farmers to Southland.

Interior view of a portion of the Railway Department's Invercargill Main Store.

Interior view of a portion of the Railway Department's Invercargill Main Store.

Mr. J. W. Black, who also took part in the excursion, endorsed Mr. Fisher's remarks, and said that one thing which he appreciated very greatly was the fact that some farmers came from distances of fifty or sixty miles in order to drive them round. They could not have had a better time and the Southland people had given a fine example of what organisation could do.

Mr. R. J. Bishop said that although there was a rush at the refreshment rooms there was plenty of refreshments. He considered that the Railway Department did marvellously well in catering for the large number of excursionists.