George Lynch – Man of many talents

George Lynch … one of the “S” Class Loco Drivers as described in 1937 — Railway Club Bulletin.

“Meet Driver George Lynch of Wodonga, who is one of the drivers of the streamlined “S” class locomotives, but…

He is also a shorthand writer and typist; a Roneo machine operator; a Victorian Railways Institute Instructor in Engine Working and Westinghouse Brake at Wodonga; a talented musician (he plays 14 or 15 instruments); a second cousin of the famous Lynch Family of Bellringers and, finally, a ventriloquist.

To shorthand, George says he owes his knowledge of locomotives. While attending the Victorian Railways Institute Classes in Engine Working and Westinghouse Brake at Flinders Street 21 years ago, he simultaneously took on a course of shorthand – and soon he was taking precious notes of the Instructor’s lectures.

When, in 1925, he was appointed an Instructor, he recognised the value of his students possessing written explanations of his own lectures. Hence, typewriting lessons followed, then the purchase of a Roneo duplicator; and ever since his class has had the benefit of papers dealing with all the subjects he teaches – written, typed and run off on the duplicator by this very proud driver of the streamlined “S” class locomotive.

At the Institute examinations, George has won four gold medals for Engine Working and Westinghouse Brake; his pupils have also gained many successes.

Known to hundreds of railwaymen who have chuckled at the highly diverting situations he has figured in as a ventriloquist, George has thrown his voice into, under and over all kinds of unexpected places. But the furthest he has projected his voice occurred recently when, in a 15-minute interview on his work as a locomotive driver, he spoke into the microphone at 3UZ.

George drove the first Spirit of Progress from Spencer Street to Albury. He retired at the age of 65 in 1953 and died at the age of 74.”

George made railway history in 1937 when the Sydney Ltd ran non-stop from Albury to Spencer Street in 3 hrs. 25 mins, clipping 25 minutes off the previous record.

In 1937 his son George Lynch Jnr followed in his father’s footsteps in the railways retiring in 1978.