ROSLYN TRAMWAY COMPANY
The annual meeting of shareholders in the Roslyn Tramway Company was held at the Chamber of Commerce last evening, Mr N. Wales (chairman) presiding. The Chairman, in moving the adoption of the report, said that the profit and loss account showed a credit balance of L 1,026 2s lid, which the directors recommended should be appropriated as follows:—To depreciation of plant and lines, L 30 0; to reduction of accident account (which will then be reduced to L 500), L 20 0; to pay a dividend at the rate of 5 percent., L 49810 5; balance to carry forward, L 27 12s lid. In comparison with last year the receipts on the cable line showed a reduction of L 261 3s 3d. The number of passengers carried on the cable line was: up, 253,515; down, 29,811; total, 283,326, The average daily fares during the year were LlO 18s Bd, as against Lll 17s last year. Ihe directors felt that they could congratulate the shareholders on the comparative success of the line during the twelve months. There was a larger balance to the credit of profit and loss than last year, and through that they had been able to write off LSOOfor depreciation of the plant and line, to reduce the accident account from L7OO to LSOO, to pay a'dividend cf 5 per cent., and to reduce the indebtedness of the company by LSOO. Their success was mainly due to the economy that had been practised, experience having shown them that they could cut down their expenses to a considerable extent. Mr A. C. Beog seconded the motion, saying that the report was on the whole satisfactory; for, although there had been a decrease in takings, the line had suffered less in that way than the Mornington and Dunedin lines. The decrease might be ascribed to the recent great exodus to Melbourne and to the dulness of the times in the first six months out of the twelve. So far the takings of the current year had been a good deal better than for the corresponding period of the previous year; and as there was the prospect of a large number of visitors coming to Dunedin during next summer, they might confidently expect their takings to be as high as was the case a year or two ago. The accident account had absorbed their profits for the past two or three years; otherwise, they would have been able to pay dividends of 7 or 8 per cent, annually.
Mr A. H. Jack expressed the opinion that the property of the company was in a very sad condition, the rolling stock being noticeable for its general seedinesa and ricketi-nc-ss. The cars on the upper line were not long ago actually coming to pieces. He was not insensible to the sweets of dividends, but he hoped they were not sacrificing their property in order to secure a dividend. In 1888 they took L2OO for depreciation, and this year they proposed to take L3OO. It would be a great pity if they allowed their plant to get so low as to provoke another accident or lead to the suspension of their certificate—for the latter would be the result of letting things go too low. Economy was all very well, but it could be carried to too great an extent. He did not make these remarks in a carping spirit, but thought it well that at such meetings shareholders should express their views plainly.
The Chairman remarked that with regard to the alleged dilapidated condition of the cars there was more in appearance than in reality—a little varnish and paint would make them all right, and they would be made neat and trim before the summer set in. He could set the minds of shareholders and of the public at rest as to the safety and security of the line ; for, barring accidents, nothing could go wrong now that they had hand-manipulators as breaks. Accidents would occur in the best regulated concerns, and the accident that occurred on the line some years ago was not the fault of the machinery or of any part of the working, but was attributable to a man having lost his bead. The rope that they had in use now had up to that day been running for two years and ninety-three days. It had served its purpose very well indeed, though it was now showing signs of going ; but the directors proposed to have it taken up this moon or next moon and replaced by a new rope. Beyond that, the line showed no more signs of decay than other lines of the kind did. The regular maintenance of the line bad perhaps not been so well attended to as would have been the case if there had not been such a dry season, for the time of the lineman was largely taken up in conveying water from town for the engine. That would probably be remedied in future years, because the directors hoped to take advantage of a natural gully that there was above the line for the storage of water to provide against dry seasons, A Shareholder inquired whether there were not many more preventatives against accident than there formerly were.
The Chairman said that there were two more breaks, and there was a very simple process—that of screwing down the wedge brake—for stopping the car, supposing it broke away. The people who travelled on the line might, he thought, have faith in it and in the drivers, some of whom were very experienced men. The motion for the adoption of the report was carried unanimously.
ELECTION OF OFFICE-BEARERS. On the motion of Mr D’Arcv Haogitt, Messrs N. Wales and J. Wilkie were reelected directors. Mr T. Callender was re-elected auditor.
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ROSLYN TRAMWAY COMPANY, Evening Star, Issue 7979, 7 August 1889
ROSLYN TRAMWAY COMPANY Evening Star, Issue 7979, 7 August 1889
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