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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 15, Issue 2 (May 1, 1940.)

Sunday Night On The Railway

Sunday Night On The Railway

In present circumstances Sunday night has become for thousands a time of travelling, with what is to many the novelty of a cross-country train journey heightened by the peculiarities of the blackout. Those who in civilian life shuddered at the thought of a journey otherwise than by car, now thankfully patronise the branch line services that enable them to return from a week-end leave to the remote situations whither military duty has called them. The blue-lit carriage lulls the mind like a perambulating opium den, so that no surprise is felt when a private soldier suddenly speaks in the unmistakable accents of one of our older universities. At stations, clusters of glowing cigarette ends gather outside the carriage window, the invisible smokers addressing brief, gruff words of farewell to the bulky silhouettes who anon grope their way within with apologetic murmurs to those whom they bruise with their boots or stun in the process of divesting themselves of their respirators. These may not be the ideal conditions for travel, but the darkened railway carriage is all the same a welcome sanctuary in which to observe our fellow beings temporarily relaxed from the rigidity imposed during daylight hours by the wearing of a uniform.—From the “Railway Gazette,” London.

page 36

One Of The Great Migrations Of British History.

(Continued from p. 31).

this is one of the most Scottish communities in New Zealand.

The Call to Arms.

Of their part in the Great War, Colonel J. N. McCarroll writes in “The Gael Fares North”: “Yes, I knew the men from Waipu (this means from all the Nova Scotia settlements) from A to Z—from Gallipoli to Damascus. When the call to arms sounded o'er hill and glen, their Highland blood kindled as they enlisted in large numbers, three families sending five sons each—the McLennans, Stevens and Haswells…. They not only gave their sons but their daughters…. I know of two-sisters, Mary and Hugha Sutherland, who served in the nursing service.”

Descendants of Waipu pioneers to the number of nine served in the Boer War and 500 in the Great War. Three served in both. There were also eight nurses on active service. Nearly 90 of the men were killed on active service, including a number at Gallipoli. Others served in the Navy and many held leading positions in the mercantile marine before and after the Great War.

Permanent Memorial.

Mr. N. R. McKenzie has just been advised that an organisation called the Cape Breton Gaelic Foundation has been formed in Nova Scotia to honour and perpetuate the memory of Nova Scotia's Highland Scottish, Gaelic-speaking pioneers.

I have before me a letter in which the chairman of the memorial executive (the Rev. Angus W. R. Mackenzie) advises that the memorial is to be erected on the original Norman McLeod homestead at St. Ann's, and that Mr. N. R. McKenzie has been appointed one of the eleven honorary members of the Pioneers Foundation section of the memorial organisation. He writes: “Our subscription list is growing fast. We expect to reach the 10,000 dollar mark this year. Gaels everywhere are subscribing large sums … it would be splendid if New Zealand Gaels of Cape Breton descent could plan to have as many present as possible in the summer (July-August) of 1941 when we hope (D.V.) to open our permanent memorial building.”

Among the eleven members of the Pioneers' Foundation I see the names of the Premier of Nova Scotia (Hon. Angus L. Macdonald), the Hon. Ian Mackenzie (Ottawa), ex Lieutenant-Governor the Hon. W. D. Ross (Toronto), Chief Justice Aulay Morrison (Vancouver), Senator John D. Mackay (Boston). The “Halifax Chronicle” in a recent issue devotes a two-column illustration to the formal ceremony where Premier Macdonald accepted the first membership certificate in the memorial fund.

When the memorial has been established in the park at St. Ann's—the municipal council of Victoria County, Nova Scotia, having given 100 acres of the land in sympathetic approval—it is proposed by means of an endowment fund to ensure the perpetuity of the world's first Gaelic College and Memorial Foundation. The ambition is for this memorial park to become a centre for the promotion of all that deeply interests the liberty-loving Gael. His ancient language will be preserved and fostered, taught and spoken; his music, sacred and secular, given and heard, taught and played; his games and sports sponsored and featured, encouraged and promoted; his clan customs and traditions, revived and advanced, remembered and kept alive; his culture and religion extolled and emulated, revered and exemplified.

Descendants of the Nova Scotian Gaels are to be found in the forefront of life in New Zealand. Taken at random here are a few: Edward Anderson, of Auckland, Reserve Bank director, and former chairman Auckland Chamber of Commerce, a grand-son of the Rev. Norman McLeod; L. B. Campbell, Secretary of the Marine Dept.; O. N. Campbell, Under-Secretary of the Native Dept.; Dr. R. M. Campbell, economic adviser to the High Commissioner in London; John A. Dunning, M.A., a Rhodes Scholar; Hugh Fraser, sub-editorial staff, “N.Z. Herald”; Rev. J. M. McKenzie, Wellington; Ian Matheson, Wellington; Kenneth Pacey, late resident surgeon, Royal Masonic Hospital, London, former travelling scholar, New Zealand Obstetrical Society, now practising in Wellington; Capt. McLeod, deputy harbourmaster, Wellington; Neill H. Smith, general manager for New Zealand, Shell Oil Co., and many others here as well as abroad.