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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 2 (May 1, 1935)

Railway Progress in New Zealand

page 8

Railway Progress in New Zealand

General manager's message
The Standing Of A Railwayman.

It has often occurred to me that the real quality of railwaymen and their rating in the community is not fully realised either by railwaymen themselves or the general public. This is probably due to circumstances which, from the very nature of their employment, have developed a somewhat silent service.

Printed codes, written instructions, and signals—both mechanical and manual—play a large part in the control of the railways, where much of the work must be carried on amidst a good deal of industrial noise—train movements, track and building construction and repair, workshops machinery operation, and so on.

But despite the inducements to an economy of speech in the course of their work, railwaymen need not be silent elsewhere. They have every reason to be given a good standing in the community, and they are, in fact, held in high esteem in all parts of the Dominion.

There is full justification for this. Every railwayman must be efficient in his own work, and probably no employer applies more constant tests in this matter than does the Railway Department. First, every person joining the service must be physically fit, as attested by a comprehensive medical certificate. Then he must have educational qualifications. Cadets accepted in recent years are up to the matriculation or higher leaving certificate standard of the colleges, or have specialised qualifications in engineering, accountancy, or other of the professions. Professional members of the service frequently hold the highest executive positions in respective Dominion associations.

The service itself carries on a system of tuition, training and examination which ensures that only fully qualified men can reach controlling positions in the Department. This applies also to the workshops and to all staffs engaged in train operations, in traffic handling and in any commercial dealings with the public.

Part of the training of a traffic man, as well as the incidence of promotion, necessitates transfer, from time to time, to different positions in the service and to different places in the Dominion. Besides this, the facilities which the Department affords its employees for travel at the time of their annual leave encourages railwaymen and their families to visit other parts of the country. The general result is that the average railwayman not only has a personal knowledge of the physical features of the Dominion but also is particularly well informed upon matters of general public interest. Hence, in whatever locality he may be placed, he has the standing to which a wide range of knowledge and experience entitles him.

The railwayman, too, knows that he is engaged in a service of real worth to the community; this also aids his self-respect and entitles him to due consideration by his fellows.

I am stressing these matters at this time because, in the rapidly changing conditions with which we are surrounded, a stocktaking of this nature is worth-while. I feel that railwaymen, to the extent that they increasingly realise and exercise the influence that is rightly theirs through personal worth and occupational association, can attain a still higher state of personal development and be of still greater usefulness to the organisation and the public whom they serve.

General Manager.
page break
Some Examples of the Bountiful Harvests in New Zealand's North Land(Rly. Publicity photos.) The large Tung-oil trees shown in the illustration (top left) are growing in a Keri Keri plantation. In addition to the lemon trees seen in the illustration (centre left) there are also many sweet orange trees in full bearing. (See article p. 11.)

Some Examples of the Bountiful Harvests in New Zealand's North Land
(Rly. Publicity photos.)
The large Tung-oil trees shown in the illustration (top left) are growing in a Keri Keri plantation. In addition to the lemon trees seen in the illustration (centre left) there are also many sweet orange trees in full bearing. (See article p. 11.)

page 10