Local Motueka RSA President Phill Sharkie receives a cheque for $556.50 from Z Bowater Motors CEO Chris Bowater last week.
Anzac Day is one of those important days on the streets on Motueka.
The turnout to the Dawn Parade is always well supported, and the town generally has a sense of reverence about it on Anzac Day. It is one of those special days when New Zealander's remember those in their families that turned out in great numbers for wars in foreign lands. Some of those families have lost loved ones in these wars, and it is these fallen soldiers we collectively remember on Anzac Day.
The Bowater family, as do a lot of other families in New Zealand, have their own Anzac Day connections. Raymond Bowater, the man that started it all for the Bowater Motor Group, was himself an Anzac; fighting in the Pacific theatre during World War 2. It is a day that means more than just a day off work, and as such Z Bowater Motors on High Street in Motueka were very happy to be involved with Poppy Day this year.
Locals came in and gave a donation in exchange for an Anzac Day Poppy. All of these donations were then gifted to the local Motueka RSA, so that they can continue to do the great work that they do in our local community.
Whilst presenting the cheque to local RSA President Phill Sharkie, we got the chance to have a quick chat and learn more about this great community focused organisation.
Motueka RSA. Independently serving the community for generations.
The Motueka RSA (Returned Soldiers Association) at 49 High Street is one of the few stand alone RSA's left in the country. Most have been forced to amalgamate with other local "clubs" in order to survive in this day and age.
The local branch is very active in and around Motueka, with members supporting all sorts of various community groups. Over time the role of the RSA has certainly changed, but it is still a much loved and much needed independent community organisation. A focus of late has been regular visits to Senior Citizen Rest Homes, where RSA members spend time with the residents, providing much needed social interaction, friendship and support.
The funds received from Z Bowater Motors will go into a larger community fund to help keep the local RSA active in Motueka, and serving the local community as they have done for generations.
About the RSA
Courage, Compassion, Camaraderie, Commitment
The values that built our society post war
The RSA was formed in New Zealand in 1916 by returning Anzacs during World War One to provide support and comfort for service men and women and their families. Its establishment recognised a need to provide care for returning soldiers and to honour the memory of those who would never return. Support and remembrance has been at the heart of the RSA since 1916.
Today they have 120,000 members throughout New Zealand. People join them because their parents or grandparents did, because they want to connect with the values they foster, because it’s a great place to socialise and bring the family, and because they want to keep New Zealand communities, safe, fun, healthy, and inclusive.
The objectives of the RSA are:
- Loyally to uphold the sovereignty of New Zealand as a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and as a member of the United Nations.
- To foster and maintain the welfare and security of New Zealand within the concept of the establishment and maintenance of international peace with honour.
- To inculcate in the individual a sense of responsibility to his fellow citizens, to his local community, and for the well-being of mankind.
- To perpetuate the comradeship born of service and to promote the general welfare of servicemen and former servicemen, their respective dependants and the former dependants of deceased servicemen or ex-servicemen.
Remembrance plays a special part in the life of the RSA.
An Anzac Soldier paying his respects to those of his brothers in arms that have fallen. Image courtesy of the RSA.
Every year, with the passing of time, the number of veterans and those who lived through war grows smaller. But our remembrance is more than a salute to those who fought and those we lost. It’s a way of carrying forward the stories and ideals of our grandfathers and great grandfathers, and grandmothers, which are just as relevant in today’s world as they were then.
These are just some of the reasons that Z Bowater Motors of Motueka, and the Bowater Motor Group in general are behind Poppy Day, and it is our pleasure that we can help in any fund raising capacity.
Anzac Day – 25 April
Dawn Parade at the Auckland Cenotaph. Image courtesy of the RSA.
Anzac Day is a national day of commemoration observed on 25 April each year. It commemorates those who died serving New Zealand during war and it honours returned servicemen and women, past and present. 25 April marks the day in 1915 when Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed at Gallipoli in Turkey, the site of New Zealand’s first major battle of World War One with the loss of over 2,700 New Zealand soldiers.
The Anzac Day dawn service is a moving rite of passage for many kiwis. Every year, thousands of Kiwis and Australians – young and old – travel to Gallipoli.
Since the first commemorative services in 1916, Anzac Day has evolved into the observance we know today, with Kiwis and Australians of all ages attending services and events across the world, from dawn until dusk.
We all honour the Anzac values of courage, compassion, camaraderie, and commitment and a time we depended on each other as brothers. It is this bond that keeps the ANZAC spirit alive.
Poppy Day - A chance for us all to support these groups.
Poppy Day happens on the Friday before Anzac Day. RSA volunteers exchange distinctive red poppies for a donation to the RSA Poppy Day appeal in support of veterans as well as ex-service people and their families in need.
The poppy reminds us of sacrifices made – both past and present. Poppies were the first flowers that grew in the battlefields of Flanders in Belgium during World War One and are a symbol of remembrance and hope.
Poppy Day has been a part of the New Zealand calendar since 1922, making it one of the oldest nationwide appeals.
To learn more about the RSA click here to go to their website where you can also connect with them on different social media platforms (Youtube and Twitter). Thanks to the RSA for the use of some images from their website.