The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 3 (July 1, 1929)
Inter-Island Farmers' Excursions — A Popular Innovation
Inter-Island Farmers' Excursions
A Popular Innovation
When interviewed in Wellington after the conclusion of his tour of the North Island with the Canterbury and West Coast farmers, Mr. C. MacIntosh (West Eyreton) stated that the train arrangements throughout were excellent, and the courtesy of all railway officials with whom they came in contact was a very pleasant feature of the trip. He considered the combining of the various tickets in book form was a splendid idea, not only avoiding the inconvenience of paying from point to point, but also providing a forecast of the different trips from day to day.
The accommodation arrangements at the various stopping places worked out splendidly and sight-seeing tours were mapped out to give the excursionists every facility for inspecting the districts visited.
Their hosts in the different centres visited did all possible to feature the progress of their districts and what they could produce, and in various other ways, from a farming point of view, made the trip both instructive and enjoyable. These tours, said Mr. MacIntosh, enabled the farmer to take an enjoyable holiday and at the same time see the results of top dressing and other forms of scientific farming in the North Island. They would, as a result of their visit, go back South encouraged still further to persevere in this important branch of farming industry. The visitors were fortunate in being able to visit the big Winter Show at Hamilton with its splendid dairy exhibit. He also considered the displays of roots at the Show hard to beat anywhere in the Dominion. Mr. Wellsted, Business Agent in the Auckland District, did all possible to make their visit to the North an enjoyable one, while Mr. Pawson, the Canterbury Business Agent, who personally conducted the tour throughout, gave invaluable service and was regarded as the “Father” of the party.
Mr. A. McNeil, Business Agent for the Wellington District, also gave valuable assistance.
Mr. W. Fisher, of Grey Valley, West Coast, referred in eulogistic terms to the general arrangements of the tour. He also made reference to the courtesy extended by the Railway staff throughout the trip, mentioning as one instance that a portion of the party having remained behind at Rotorua, the Stationmasters at Rotorua and Frankton Junction made such splendid arrangements that they were able to rejoin their confreres in Auckland only about two hours after the arrival of the Farmers' Train in that city. He considered that, as the opening of the Otira Tunnel cemented the friendship between the West Coast and Canterbury, so these tours would create similar friendship and understanding between the farmers of each Island. As a West Coaster he looked forward to the time when farmers would be able to make a trip round the north of the South Island by rail.
The ladies, although finding the tour strenuous at times, enjoyed every minute of the trip.
During the course of the tour Mrs. A. Carpenter, on behalf of the ladies, presented Mrs. Pawson with a splendid chiming clock in appreciation of the many kindnesses extended throughout the tour. Mr. C. MacIntosh, in a few well chosen words, presented Mr. Pawson with a pipe and Mr. Fisher similarly presented Mr. McNeil with a silver cigarette case as a token of their appreciation.