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Divisional Vice President – Freight – David Mathie – Life Membership Nomination

Dec 16, 2021Update

Earlier this year Divisional Vice-President Freight Dave Mathie announced his intention to retire and was nominated by the Locomotive Division for life Membership of the RTBU.  The Locomotive Division proudly nominated Dave due to his long, professional, and dedicated service to the PTU, RTBU and previously the AFULE, Representing the members of the Locomotive Division of NSW and Nationally.

Dave joined the Railway at Delec as a Trainee Engineman in 1969 and lasted 6 months due to Shift Work, left and worked as an apprentice Glazier till 1972 and went back to the Railway and in his words “sucked up” the Shift Work as a Trainee Engineman.

He took up as the Depot Secretary of the AFULE which was at the time the biggest Rail Depot in the Southern Hemisphere when Dale Casson the then Depot Secretary who Dave absolutely respected passed away in, he thinks about 1975/6 (Dale’s son is a Driver at Moss Vale) and has been bitten by the Union Bug ever since.

He became a Divisional Councillor after working with Michael Costa and it was Costa who convinced him to run against the incumbent Lee Allsopp and he would run as Depot Secretary at Enfield as he wanted to have a Union Background as he tried to get into politics.

Dave became a Divisional Councillor when people like Bruce Woods was President and Bernie was Secretary.

He wasn’t at all that comfortable during his early years in Council as all the Councillors were hard/tough men with long Railway Backgrounds, but he was inspired when the top 3 men of the AFULE Nationally addressed the Divisional Council, Ken Mathews, Frank Hussey and Ron Bradford,  Dave thought these guys have a power that can make things and conditions better for Train Drivers so he stuck it out and realised that the Union was the only way Train Drivers we’re going to improve their lot at work.

Dave likes to say he was lucky as a Union Officer because the Rank and File agreed with the changes or improvements that he was pushing for, whatever he argued and campaign for “the lads” all said, “yes mate that’s what we want”!!!

To quote Dave:

“I have had a great ride, but the Railway is not the same today as it was, back then if I put a notice in the Union Case at Enfield everybody supported it, today is a different game yet the rank and file need a Union/their Union more than ever and unity is what makes us who we are and what legacy we leave behind “. “I am proud to have been and member, Delegate and Executive of the AFULE, PTU and RTBU (Locomotive Division), what makes Train Drivers who they are what they have is and has always been their unity, strength, density and proud of their trade!”

Dave has given over 46 years of dedicated Union Service representing members and has been   instrumental in helping achieve many conditions such as cabs, Rostering and industrial and in doing so showed a passion and commitment above and beyond what would normally be required.

In deciding to retire as a Driver with Pacific National on the 11/9/21 the Locomotive Division has lost a very experienced Vice President – Freight, National Locomotive Division Delegate and Sydney PN Intermodal Delegate as well as a character who was and will always be welcomed by all in head office and at future Divisional Councils as a guest.

Dave’s decision was not taken lightly and was done after much soul searching and concerns for the union and its members.  However, we all wish Dave the very best in his decision to retire to Sunny QLD, to his new local where I’m sure he will find a corner bar stool and every opportunity to educate the next generation.

Following the endorsement of Branch Executive, Dave was invited to attend our Divisional Council on the 8th of December to be presented with his Life Membership by Divisional Secretary Farren Campbell and Divisional President Dan Leece.