The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 6 (October 1, 1927)
Taranaki Page. — First Aid
The Department's action in providing facilities under exceptionally favourable conditions whereby the members of the railway service may gain a good general knowledge of “First Aid” is much appreciated.
The “giving of service” is generally accepted in the sense of “giving of labour for remuneration,” but it should be realised that the term has a much fuller application. The fact of the Department's placing within reach of every railwayman the opportunity of becoming proficient in “First Aid” is an act of service to the employee. The practical acceptance of this offer by the servant is not, on his part, an act of service to the Department alone, but to his fellow employees and to humanity in general. By acquiring knowledge in “First Aid” one is prompted by the humane feeling to be ever ready and in a position to aid a fellow being in unfortunate circumstances through accident or sudden illness. In perhaps few callings are accidents more likely to occur than in that of the railway where, from varied and numerous causes, members are daily subjected to risks involving physical injury.
The enthusiasm displayed in this direction by the staff throughout the Dominion reveals that the railwayman is desirous of rendering this humane service.
To what extent the recently inaugurated classes in Wanganui will ultimately develop, is at present difficult to foresee, but since the inception of the scheme approximately 120 members have given their regular attendance at three classes under the direction of Dr. Christie and Mr. J. Scott of East Town Shops.
In the western district well supported classes are established at New Plymouth, Hawera and Marton, and a class at Stratford is being formed-truly an indication of the desire of the railwayman to “render service.”
Improved Facilities for Handling Racehorses.
In order to meet the increasing demand for better facilities for handling racehorse traffic, improvements have been made to the loading bank at Marton. In the space now provided, four horseboxes may be loaded or discharged simultaneously. The fact of the improvements being completed in time for the two-day meeting next month has been favourably commented on in press paragraphs by the racing fraternity.
Soon after their names disappear from the classification list the majority of the one-time members of the service are lost to railway view. Outside of their own circle of acquaintances they may be quite forgotten until perhaps, in reminiscent mood, a present-day member vaguely inquires as to what has become of “so and so,” and thus awakens the dormant human interest in the welfare of past members.
Keenly and contentedly tending a well-kept garden in Wanganui East and participating in “Drake's” pastime in season, is Mr. J. E. Armstrong (a former District Traffic Manager). He still maintains that erect figure and sprightly appearance which characterised him in the days of his railway career.
Another ex-member, Mr. J. Cooper, is keeping away physical and mental rust by giving to the Castlecliff Railway Company the benefits of his wide and varied experience as a railway officer.
Mr. Cooper saw much service in numerous positions in both islands, and at the time of his retirement was Chief Traffic Clerk at Wanganui. He is now in charge of the above Company's transport system, but still displays a keen and enthusiastic interest in the doings of the Department which he served during the greater part of his life.
Mr. W. Robb, who, up to a couple of years ago, was Inspector of Permanent Way in the middle district, is also settled in Taranaki. Deeming that Wanganui, with its world-famed river, Bastia tower, Sargeant's Art Gallery and other notable attractions, was most suited to his health and well-being, he came to Gonville and stayed there, tilling the land, and occasionally dropping into the city to chortle over his ability as a horticulturist.page break