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On Saturday evening the railway employees in this district entertained Mr. W. Ennis, Inspector of Permanent Way, to a banquet in Quill’s Hotel. The occasion of the gathering was to take farewell of Mr. Ennis, who is leaving for Invercargill, and to mark the esteem in which his fellow-officials hold him by some tangible token of it. Over fifty railway men of all grades were present, from stations as far south as Timaru and as far north as Selwyn, and the chair was occupied by Mr. B. Pilkington, Stationmaster, Ashburton, the croupier being Mr. Dines, of the permanent way staff. After full and deserved honor had been done to Mr. Quill’s good things, ami the loyalty and patriotism of the company had been displayed in the toast of Her Majesty, Ac., Mr. Pilkington proposed the toast of the evening. In doing so, he paid a very high compliment to Mr. Ennis, dilating at some length on the many sterling virtues and agreeable qualities he possessed, and the thoroughly fair and honest way in which he discharged the duties of his position to the Government who employed him, to the men placed under him, and to those belonging to other departments of the service who had to do with him in the every-day run of railway business. It was evident by the expressions of assent given utterance to by those present that the tone of Mr. Pilkington’s remarks was in perfect accord with the feelings of the company, and quite a pitch of enthusiasm was reached when the chairman asked Mr. Dines, as an officer of Mr. Ennis’ department, to make the presentation, to do which had been the chief purpose of their meeting that night. Mr. Dines then presented Mr. Ennis with a handsome black marble timepiece. In doing so, he said that when he heard too much flattery poured out on a man, he always thought there was something wrong. He would give no undue flattery to Mr. Ennis, but would simply tell what he knew of him. The presence of so many men that night, who had been thrown into business relationship, with Mr. Ennis, proved the esteem in which that gentleman was held, and a farther proof might be given in the fact that the presentation now made represented the spontaneous good-will offering of every man on the part of the line over which Mr, Ennis’ jurisdiction extended. Perhaps there was no one who had better opportunities for noting the good or bad qualities of their guest than he (the speaker) had had. Specially was loyalty to duty a feature of Mr. Ennis’ character, and in this connection it was prominently remarkable that all orders from head quarters had to be fulfilled to the letter, and no swerving from them would be tolerated. This was especially necessary on a railway line where the lives of many people depended on the efficiency and carefulness of the staff. In essentials Mr. Ennis was stern in exacting complete fulfilment, but he was never found to bo factious or oppressive in trifles, and in dealing with his men he had always been

found to be just and fair without regard to nationality or ci'ccd, and where leniency was required and was justifiable, it was always kindly and forbearingly extended. He had said enough to show why Mr. Ennis had commanded their respect and their esteem, and if all the officers in the railway service showed the same bearing and followed the same fine of conduct, the service could not fail to be efficient in the highest degree. He hoped Mr. Ennis would live long to be able to look upon the gift ho now gave him, and every time lie did so, be reminded of the high opinion his friends in this district held of him. Mr. Henry Stephenson, of the locomotive department, in a forcible speech tendered his concurrence in all that had been said by Mr. Dimes. Mr. Ennis then made a suitable reply, expressing his gratification at hav-. ing been able to discharge the not always easy duties that had fallen to him, to the satisfaction of his fellow workmen. He was going now, and he might safely say that but for the fact that the Government possessed in the employees of this district servants of a very superior class, .he would not have been able to succeed so well either with the duties he had to discharge as Inspector, or in gaining their own good opinion. All departments of the servi.e had worked in harmony together, and without this it was useless to hope for efficiency, far less for pleasure in their relationship. Other toasts were proposed, amongst which were the “ Secretary to the presentation fund, Mr. Henderson,” who briefly replied; “ Success fo Ah?., New Zealand Railways the" “ Press ” replied to. by the local representatives, who each had a good thing to. sayoLMr. Ennis, and of course “ The Ladies.” Several songs wore sung in the evening, and the gathering dispersed when , the solemn summons of respectability told the near approach of Sunday.

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Bibliographic details

FAREWELL BANQUET AND PRESENTATION TO MR. ENNIS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 113, 15 June 1880

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FAREWELL BANQUET AND PRESENTATION TO MR. ENNIS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 113, 15 June 1880