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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 7 (December 1, 1932)

The Turn of the Year

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The Turn of the Year

The coming of Christmas marks the turn of the year, and like the great event from which the festival derives its origin, the anniversary should usher in each year a happier time for all.

Never in the lives of the present generation has there been so fervent a desire for better times than now, and each move made on the chessboard of world affairs is watched with intensest eagerness in the hope that some masterly stroke of statecraft or “big business” management may lift the load of depression and lead the people into a new period of prosperity.

Meantime what occupies chief attention for the individual is the affairs of everyday—the personal planning and budgeting to meet present emergencies and in preparation for what may befall. Here again there is found an earnestness that indicates the development of an almost universally provident spirit, an attitude of the general public which might he likened more to that of the hard old days of Scottish history than to the usual inconsequent comparative heedlessness of brighter, more prosperous lands and times.

There is a risk that the taking of thought for the morrow may be overdone if it extends to the elimination of necessary holidays. It has long been understood that the stress of modern conditions requires periods of complete relaxation, and that no better tonic to ensure health can be found than that provided by a change of scene and relief from the pressure of the daily strain of work.

Therefore any economy planning should consider some kind of holiday as a necessity rather than a luxury—an expenditure to save cost in other and less satisfactory directions.

For the economic holiday the railways, when everything is taken into account, provide the most satisfactory and least costly of all means of travel, and although railwaymen in general have to work harder than ever at this “turn of the year” holiday season, they are always pleased to see their trains filled up with the joyous throngs of care-free excursionists whose mere numbers help to lend that air of jollity and abandon which is a major ingredient of the holiday spirit.

If this Christmastide should prove to be that “tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune” and not what the times most resemble—the kind of floodtide of which Jean Ingelow sings, there would be great occasion for general rejoicing because of the happy turn in worldly affairs.

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But railwaymen can at least say that whatever turn the times may take, they have put up a fine record of service to the community during the last twelve months. They have completed their seventh year of safe conveyance of passengers, making a total of 170 million passenger journeys during that time without one fatality; they have joined wholeheartedly in the economy campaign which has resulted in reducing operating costs; they have taken such care of goods and parcels entrusted to them that the claims arising from damage to goods conveyed by rail in this country constitute an extremely low proportion of the value carried, and compare most favourably with results obtained elsewhere; and they have stood up manfully to the demands upon the service arising from the difficult times through which the Dominion is passing. If good times are coming the railwaymen deserve them; if bad times, they will be faced with traditional courage and loyalty. Let us hope that the turn of the year on this occasion will prove a good turn for all, and that peace and increasing plenty may mark the advance of 1933.

Mrs. Roussell's Appreciation.

Tributes to the memory of the late Mr. Roussell were paid by members of the Railway staff at Auckland prior to the despatch of the Main Trunk Express, which conveyed the funeral casket to Wellington. When the last of the officers had filed past the casket, Mrs. Roussell expressed to Mr. F. E. Temm, Chairman of the Railway Officers Institute (Auckland), her deep appreciation of the touching tributes paid to her late husband, and said that the grief of the family would be softened by the many condolences and evidences of such sympathy as was witnessed by the family at Auckland. The sympathy of railwaymen generally throughout New Zealand was deeply appreciated by Mrs. Roussell and the members of her family.

How To Get Passengers Back On The Trains.

Maybe this is the answer to the reliable old problem of how to recover lost passenger traffic. It was published recently in the Baltimore Evening Sun:

“The railroads of the country are complaining of the falling off in passenger traffic caused by the increasing popularity of the automobile. This constitutes a serious problem, yet the solution is selfevident. Obviously the railroads should do everything in their power to make travel on them resemble that in automobiles. Here are a few suggestions:

“For the benefit of the men, speedometers should be placed conspicuously in every car, so that passengers may see the speed at which the train is going. For the benefit of the women, communication should be provided between them and the engineer so that they can offer suggestions as to how he should drive.

“Trains should not be run on definite schedules. Passengers then could notify friends at their destination that they may be expected some time between five and seven o-clock, provided nothing happens to delay them; but not to worry if they do not turn up by eight o'clock.

“Occasional freight trains should be permitted to bar the tracks for miles at a time and only unwillingly permit passenger trains to pass. They should pull over when another train is approaching in the opposite direction, so that the passenger train can escape a serious collision by the skin of its teeth.

“Passengers should be surrounded by baggage of all kinds, thus forcing them to sit in cramped and uncomfortable positions.

“In wet weather some arrangement should be made whereby a train would have the opportunity to skid and come up against a telegraph pole …

And who can say but that it might succeed?”

Sale Of Health Stamps.

Below is a specimen copy of the “Health” stamp which has been issued this year in continuation of the anti-tuberculosis campaign inaugurated in 1929.

The stamp is of the 2d. denomination, 1d. being for postage and 1d. for health. As in previous years, the stamps will be on sale until the 28th February, 1933.

The purpose of the campaign is to raise funds to assist in the establishment and maintenance of children's health camps in New Zealand. The Health Camp movement, although described as a first line attack on incipient tuberculosis, does not handle the actual tuberculosis patient. Rather does it aim to remedy the physical defects or restore the lowered bodily resistance which results from under-nourishment—a condition increasingly prevalent in these days of unemployment. It is hoped that all members of the community will assist in supporting this worthy object to the best of their ability.

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