03 August 2015

Horace Campbell Lusty (1895–1972)

Horace Campbell Lusty, formerly New Zealand Railways (NZR) General Manager and President of the New Zealand Institution of Engineers (NZIE, now the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ)) in 1949–50, died in Wellington on 23 April 1972.

He was educated at the Petone District High School, Dunedin Technical College and Canterbury University College and qualified as an engineer in 1923.

Lusty joined NZR as an engineering cadet in 1912 and served as an Assistant Engineer in Wellington, Dunedin, Greymouth, Whanganui, Ohakune and Christchurch before being appointed District Engineer in Invercargill. He returned to NZR Head Office, Wellington, in 1933 as Inspecting Engineer and was promoted to Assistant Engineer-in-Chief in 1936, then Chief Civil Engineer in 1944. In 1951 he was appointed NZR General Manager and retired in 1955.

Lusty undertook a 12-month tour in 1946–47 inspecting railway systems in Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Sweden and the United States of America. He became convinced diesel engines should replace steam at a time when opinion differed about the use of diesels in New Zealand. He was also a supporter of the rights of railway workers and was successful in securing salary increases for them.

He was elected to the  New Zealand Society of Civil Engineers (NZSCE, now the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ)) corporate membership in February 1930 and became President in 1949. He was a regular attendee at general meetings and of the Wellington Branch, showing a keen interest in the development and wellbeing of the NZIE until just prior to his death.

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New Zealand Engineering, July 1972, p.234