Rail retirees rock on
Retired New Zealand Railway staff gathered for their end of year wrap-up luncheon last week.
The group of 20 New Zealand Railway Superannuitants Association members also marked the end of an era as the association is being absorbed into the Government Superannuitants Association.
Member Phyllis Blakie said the South Canterbury branch was formed in 1932 and members meet on a bi-monthly basis. They plan to continue meeting on a social basis.
Dave Warlow, society secretary, said they had the privilege of having a job for life, something that no longer exists.
Of the merger, he said: "This is simply a merger with the government fund; not a great deal of change at all really. We're more of a social club really."
Mr Warlow started with the railways in Addington in 1963 as an apprentice fitter. He then moved on to the Linwood depot and worked there for 10 years before transferring to Timaru.
In Timaru he maintained the shunt engines and made repairs on mainline engines and forklifts.
"There were three of us on maintenance at the time; there was another depot in Timaru where they serviced wagons. When the locomotive depot got into a bad state of repair they moved me into the wagon depot."
He took redundancy and retired in 2002 after 38 years' service.
He said railways were a close-knit community.
"The railways have always been social; sometimes they'd actually take a train away for the day; it was geared mainly for the children. We used to have a good time."
SOUTH CANTERBURY HERALD
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