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

Obituary — MR. P. G. ROUSSELL. — General Manager New Zealand Railways

page 16

General Manager New Zealand Railways.

(S. P. Andrew, photo.) The late Mr. P. G. Roussell.

(S. P. Andrew, photo.)
The late Mr. P. G. Roussell.

The death of Mr. P. G. Roussell, General Manager of Railways, which occurred under such tragic circumstances at Auckland on 1st November, will be deeply deplored by members of the railway service throughout New Zealand. Mr. Roussell was proceeding to Auckland by the “Limited” express, where he was to have joined the Niagara en route to Sydney on official business on behalf of the Government Railways Board.

He left Wellington in excellent health and spirits, occupying a sleeper on the “Limited.” During the night he had a heart seizure and suffered great pain for several hours. He was kept under constant observation by the car attendants, and a message was dispatched to Auckland asking that medical assistance be obtained on the train's arrival.

Dr. C. E. A. Coldicutt met the train at 9.30 a.m. Mr. Roussell had then greatly improved, and was able to walk without assistance. He proceeded straight to his sister's home, and went to bed. He became worse later in the day, and though everything possible was done for him by the doctors in attendance, Mr. Roussell died at 2.40 p.m.

From Cadet to General Manager.

The late Mr. Roussell, who was in his fifty-fifth year, was born at Waimauku, in the Auckland district, and was educated at Auckland. He joined the Railway Department as a cadet in 1893 and received steady promotion until, in 1924, he was appointed Chief Clerk at the Head Office, Wellington. He subsequently acted as Secretary to the Railway Board, and was later appointed Superintendent of Transportation, which office he held until his appointment as General Manager in succession to Mr. H. H. Sterling, now Chairman of the Government Railways Board.

The late Mr. Roussell is survived by his widow, three sons,—Philip, Raymond, and Eric —and a daughter, Miss May Roussell.

Mr. Sterling's Feeling Tribute.

The following tribute to the memory of the late Mr. Roussell was paid by Mr. H. H. Sterling, Chairman of the Government Railways Board:—

“The news of the sudden death of Mr. Roussell came as a very great shock to me, and, I am sure, to all those who had been associated with him.

“Mr. Roussell, by the kindliness of his disposition, had endeared himself alike to colleagues and subordinates, and had earned their warmest regard. He was ever ready to give advice and assistance to every member of the service in whatever rank he might be placed. His appointment to the highest executive office in the Department was fully justified by the faithfulness of his service, the great ability which he brought to bear on his work, his sound judgment, and his encyclopaedic knowledge of everything connected with the railway business. Since Mr. Roussell's appointment to the General Managership, there has passed through his hands a tremendous volume of work. There have been many questions of the highest import which have required to be dealt with by him, and his reports to the Board were always characterised by a broad outlook, a mature judgment, and a well-balanced mind, which earned the entire respect and confidence of every member of the Government Railways Board. I feel that I am voicing the feelings of every member of the Railways Department in deploring Mr. Roussell's untimely decease, and I know that my colleagues on the Board are of one mind with me in an expression of profound regret and a deep sense of loss of a capable, faithful, and loyal officer and a gentleman.”