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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 4 (July 1, 1935.)

Some Memories

Some Memories.

It was soon after John Ballance's death in 1893 that I first saw Dick Seddon. Every New Zealander from North Auckland to Stewart Island soon dropped the “Mr. Seddon.” The more his fame grew, the more affectionately familiar did the populace become, as is the way with great men. It was “Dick,” “Old Dick,” “Good old Dick,” with the crowd; there were those who used less friendly terms, but they were in the minority. In the newspaper world, we soon came to see a good deal of the new Premier, and his spirit of unaffected friendship and his vigour of speech went a long way to win our hearts. He was still a good deal of a rough diamond, but a jewel in the rough is no less a jewel. I for one developed a great admiration for the Premier's downright character. I frequently travelled with his party in the course of my always-varying duty as “Auckland Star” reporter. I think it was Seddon who set the fashion of speech-making tours throughout the land, by way of meeting the people—he soon came to call them “my people,” with a majestic wave of the hand. At any rate it was he who developed that trick of travel until those tours of his became triumphal processions. They became indeed royal tours. There were glorious days, and more glorious nights (often prolonged into the morning!) at Huntly, or Waihi, or Hawera, when the Premier's train landed him there, often with the local brass band to meet the Ministerial party at the station.

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