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

Mr. J. W. Heenan, LL.B

Mr. J. W. Heenan, LL.B.

Everybody, and especially everybody in the world of sport, is proud to be an “old friend” of Mr. J. W. Heenan, who has just recovered from his severe illness and operation to be greeted with the welcome news of his promotion to the responsible but congenial post of Under-Secretary for Internal Affairs.

Mr. Heenan attended Mt. Cook school and Wellington College, and completed his law course at Victoria College. With his native enthusiasm for sport and inspired by the wonderful sporting record of Mt. Cook school in the 'nineties (it produced such heroes as Billy Wallace and Billy Woodger) he naturally played football and ran races; but he cheerfully admits he never reached champion standard; it is as a lover, judge, and administrator of football, amateur athletics and boxing that he has made his mark upon the tablets of New Zealand sport.

His knowledge of all these sports is encyclopaedic and his wonderful memory has made his mind a record of all the stirring feats and matches of his generation. He cemented friendships with virtually all the visiting athletes and sportsmen of his time, and is a mine of stories relating to all the world champions. His burly figure and rugged features are as well known at Trentham as at Athletic Park, and one is sure that he looks on the many constitutions and rules he has drafted for racing and sports bodies as a prouder monument to his legislative skill than all the Bills he has drafted during his career as Parliamentary Draftsman.

The “Railways Magazine” congratulates him warmly and sincerely on the latest recognition of his merit and on his return as Head to the Department he entered many years ago as a cadet. We have indeed a personal reason for our pleasure, since it is to Mr. Heenan that we owe the suggestion that the very column in which this note is printed be incorporated in the Magazine. The appropriate title, “Panorama of the Playground,” is his, and, if the nom-de-plume “Playboy” is not entirely his, this is so only because his illness, now happily past, compelled it. We have grounds for hoping that New Zealand's gain will not be the Magazine's loss, and that Mr. Heenan will continue to direct, inspire, and enlighten these pages.