Post by Dave Homewood on Dec 30, 2005 18:23:02 GMT 12
The year 2006 will officially be The Year of the Veteran.
The Government has pledged $2,000,000 to the Royal New Zealand Returned Services Association to help them to spruce up loacl war memorials and to host commemoration days.
The official launch of the Year of the Veteran will be held in Wellington in February.
2006 will also mark the 90th Anniversary of the RNZRSA, which began in 1916 as the Returned Soldier's Association as people realised men were returning from fighting in Gallipoli, wounded and dismissed from the Army, and could not get work or any care. There was no welfare then, and those without limbs who'd fought for the Empire were cast aside by society. So the RSA was begun to provide them money, shelter, homes and meals. The RSA also began the first ANZAC Day commemorations on the 25th of April 1916. The association really began to develop into what it became in WWII when other services were welcomed to join, then ladies, and most towns built clubrooms with bars, restaurants and bowling clubs, etc, rather than just meeting once a year on ANZAC Day.
The RNZRSA also plans to mark the 90th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, in which 7000 Kiwis took part, and in just 23 days, 1560 of them were dead.
The NZRSA still represents 60,000 veterans so this coming year will be a good time to demonstrate the great work they still do in welfare and rehabilitation of ex-servicemen and women.