The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 11 (March 1, 1929)
With a view to preserving in permanent form a record of the ideas and “atmosphere” associated with the Lyttelton section electrification, we are appending extracts from some of the principal speeches made on the opening day.
On the arrival of the official electric trains at Lyttelton on 14th February an impressive function was held in the Shaw, Savill and Albion Company's huge new wool and grain store, where about 800 guests were entertained at afternoon tea, and a number of eulogistic speeches were made.
The Minister of Railways, the Hon. W. B. Taverner, presided, and others seated at the official table were:—The Prime Minister (Sir Joseph Ward), Mrs. Taverner, the Mayor of Lyttelton (Mr. F. E. Sutton) and Mrs. Sutton, the Mayor of Christ-church (the Rev. J. K. Archer) and Mrs. Archer, the Right Hon. J. G. Coates (Leader of the Opposition), Mr. H. H. Sterling (General Manager of Railways), Mrs. B. B. Wood, Mr. J. E. Strachan (president of the Progress League), Mr. Norton Francis (president of the Chamber of Commerce), Mr. D. G. Sullivan, M. P., and Mrs. Sullivan, Mr. J. M'Combs, M.P., and Mrs. M'Combs, Mr. R. W. Hawke, M.P., and Mr. J. S. Neville (Town Clerk, Christchurch) and Mrs. Neville.
After the loyal toast had been honoured, the chairman extended a welcome to the guests, and remarked upon the importance of the occasion, not only to the people of Lyttelton and Christchurch, but to the country as a whole.