Home' Northern Outlook : April 10th 2013 Contents 8 NORTHERN OUTLOOK, APRIL 10, 2013
'A LITTLE BIT OF SPECIAL'
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Top bakery on hunt for 14 new staff
AN AWARD-winning bakery in
Rangiora is looking for 14 people
prepared to work as production
staff from about April 29.
Rangiora Bakery has secured
a short-term contract to supply
a specific sweet product into an
Australian supermarket chain.
The bakery is looking for 14
people to take up fixed-term
contracts for a period of six to
eight weeks, with a possibility of
depending on sales.
Company owner Ron Van Til
said the firm employed 170
people, so this was in addition to
It [the contract] involves a
supermarket chain and a show
that will be shown on television
there . . . Nobody in Australia
could make the product, so we
said we'd give it a nudge.
He said 25 per cent of
production was already being
sent to Australia, and it just
opportunities out there.''
Rangiora Bakery runs a
morning shift, which begins
between 4am and 6am, and an
afternoon shift which starts bet-
ween noon and 2pm. The posi-
tions advertised are all full time.
Life on rails: Working on the railroad has shown Mark Scotson -- shown here crossing the Waimakariri bridge --
most of the country in the past 50 years.
Photo: ROY SINCLAIR.
driver lives dream
By RACHEL MACDONALD
SOME BOYS dream of being a
fireman, some dream of being a
soldier. Rangiora's Mark Scot-
son wanted to be a train driver
when he grew up. That was 60
years ago, and today -- on the
cusp of retiring this week -- he is
one of those lucky people who
can say he lived the dream.
That said, his career didn't
get off to the most auspicious
I left school in 1963, just
before my School C exams. My
parents had decided I would go
into the navy, so I ended up on
my way to Auckland on a navy
pass,'' he says.
But I got off the train at
Franklin Junction in Hamilton,
walked into the steam depot and
Starting out as a cleaner, wor-
king to keep the huge steam
locomotives pristine, it was the
start of a six-year, nine-month
apprenticeship that would see
him gaining first his fireman's,
then his driver's tickets. Along
the way, steam was gradually
being phased out in favour of
diesel, so he transferred to
Dunedin -- steam was still king
in the South Island. There, with
the available drivers jobs depen-
ding on seniority, he chose a
hardship posting'' on the elec-
tric line in Otira.
The idea was that if you
could stick it out for three years
in that isolation, then you were
given your pick of depots after-
Never mind that Otira almost
got him killed.
The train broke down, and
there I was, hanging off the side,
trying to see what the problem
was. I was holding a standard-
issue metal torch, which got too
close to the pannagraph that
conducts the electricity to the
engine. I ended up on the receiv-
ing end of 1600DC volts, which
threw me off the running board,
blew holes in my fingertips and
burnt the torch into my palm. A
month later, I was still walking
like an old man -- my muscles
had all pulled completely taut
around my frame.''
He then worked in both
islands, in passenger and freight
services, until the electrification
of the main trunk in the north.
I wanted to bring up my
children in the South Island. At
the time, I was in Taihape, wor-
king the diesels to Taumarunui
and Palmerston North, and I
asked for a transfer to Christ-
church. We settled in Rangiora
30 years ago and I've been here
In addition to his standard
shifts to the West Coast, to
Oamaru and up through Kai-
koura, he started to feature on
the rosters for the Mainland
Steam excursions, as that group
bought and restored the great
old locomotives to keep a dying
Getting back in those cabs
was like getting back on a bike.
A steam engine to me will
always be like a living being --
you feed it and it breathes. It's
incredibly special. There's
nothing like being behind the
throttle of a locomotive with a
really good bark to it. It's shown
me all the different faces of the
country, from the times it's all
moonlight and stars to when it's
raining so heavily you can't see
a foot in front of you. I'll miss it.''
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