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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 4 (July 1, 1936)

Variety In Brief — Rangihaeata's Lament

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Variety In Brief
Rangihaeata's Lament.

[In 1846 Sir George Grey became convinced that Te Rauparaha, the stout old warrior who had got himself into such bad odour at the Wairau, was secretly giving aid to Te Rangihaeata, who was in open revolt. He prepared quickly, surprised and seized Te Ruaparaha in his pa, hustled him on to a ship, and conveyed him to Wellington as a prisoner. Te Rangihaeata, hastening to Porirua, arrived only in time to see the ship receding into the distance.]

O Rauparaha, you've trod a way you never will retravel,
Your ship has swung around the bend, and out of sight for ever,
And here along the tussocked shore, among the river gravel
We raise for you a tangi wail, and mourn your lost endeavour.
O Rangatira, where you go, you go alone and fearless;
The white man's gaol, the white man's rope are waiting down the river;
But Shame's a lass you may not know, an avid wench and cheerless,
And Death's a foe, if foe he be, who will not make you quiver.

* * *

The mother being; indisposed, it devolved upon the father, a locomotive fireman, to feed their infant son, aged two years, with a spoon.

Hearing the child spluttering and apparently choking, the mother came hurrying in to see what was happening. The father explained that he always “led off with one under the firedoor, then one left, one right, and one well down the far end.” The “far end” in this case corresponded with the unfortunate child's throat.

“The Railway Gazette.”

The Railway Department's slogan, “Safety, Comfort, and Economy,” was typically illustrated on a north-bound train recently. In a mixed first-class carriage three men occupied separate seats. The first was a clergyman, the second presumably a commercial traveller (he would be the popular conception of a man of the road), and the third a Scotsman. The last-named was not clad in kilts, nor did he have the traditional Scotch walking stick, but his voice revealed his nationality.

The clergyman, with his straight and God-fearing look, represented safety, and the commercial traveller, equipped with a rug and a modern novel, comfort. It was difficult to associate the other member of the trio with the latter part of the slogan, for the fact remains that he was travelling in a firstclass carriage and (softly) gave threepence to a newsboy for a twopenny newspaper and refused the change. The climax to this little story, however, does not altogether fit in with the scheme of things. After the train had travelled several miles and before the guard was due to inspect the tickets, one member of the party suddenly arose, grabbed a suitcase from the rack, and made for the carriage door. In reply to the kindly advice of a fellow passenger that the next station at which the train stopped was some distance off, the man candidly stated that he had just realised by the appointments in the carriage that he was travelling first-class and that he only held a second-class ticket. One caught the words “waste of money” as the traveller passed through the door. At a rough guess one would say it was the man from Glasgow (or Aberdeen) who made the sudden exit. It wasn't; it was the clergyman!


This year, 1936, being the fiftieth anniversary of Thomas Edison's initial experiments with moving pictures, it is interesting to recall that the first actual story picture—produced in 1903 —was a railway drama entitled “The Great Train Robbery.” It was a onereeler, and the principal players were Marie Murray and George Barnes. The story was the idea of Edwin Porter, one of Edison's early cameramen.

“O. W. Waireki.”