The Taree branch of the NSW Transport Authorities Retired Employees’ Association (TAREA) hosted the organisation’s annual state luncheon on Monday, October 17.
The event was held at the Winning Post Function Centre at Taree Racecourse, with 188 former drivers, guards, conductors, perway workers, control officers, inspectors, clerical officers and others from the old steam days attending.
The most attendees from one branch was Taree at 60, with others coming from Brisbane, Dubbo, Orange, the Blue Mountains, Goulburn, Casino, Grafton, Nambucca, and the Shoal Haven/Illawarra region.
Event organiser, Athol Devers has organised three state luncheons in Taree for TAREA in 2010, 2013 and 2016.
This year was his last, however, as the event takes a full year of hard planning work.
“No more, not for me,” he said, “and no-one’s put their hand up for the next one.
“Not many of the branches want to do it because it’s an enormous amount of work.”
Numbers are starting to dwindle, too. The 2013 luncheon had 280 people attending.
“An enormous amount of people are 75 plus,” Athol explained.