THAMES & DISTRICTS RETURNED & SERVICES ASSOCIATION 2014

The new Thames RSA is located in the Thames Workingmens Club. All RSA members and guests are welcome to drop by and enjoy the facilities.

The Thames RSA hold a club night every Thursday. Raffles at 1700 hrs.

As is traditional at RSA's throughout the country, at 1800 hrs we dim the lights and recite the ode in respect to who have given their lives in the service of our country.

ALL ARE WELCOME!

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PRESIDENTS 2017 DAWN PARADE ADDRESS

For interest we have copied, below, David Sinton's address he gave at the Dawn Parade:

ANZAC DAWN PARADE ADDRESS

On the 15 th July 1915 the ship Willochra enters Wellington Harbour to a large crowd awaiting its arrival. On board are the first wounded back from Gallipoli, the first returned soldiers of WW1. A soldier that disembarks that day was Donald Simson, who quickly realizes the need for an association of returned soldiers and is instrumental in the formation of a number of local associations throughout the Country.

Simson calls a national meeting that establishes the NZ Returned Soldiers' Association on 28 th April 1916, one hundred years ago.

By 1920 the membership had swollen to 57,000 out of a returned soldier population of 80,000. The RSA quickly becomes an advocate for veterans as well as providing its own welfare services with the introduction of Poppy Day in 1922.

At the same time as subscribing to memorials for the dead, the Public supports building club rooms for the living. The RSA successfully presses for ANZAC Day to be a public holiday in 1921, and develops a uniform service, based on a military funeral, to keep faith with dead comrades and their grieving families.

In the 1990's the RSA entered a renaissance which exists to today. It reflects the growing interest of New Zealanders in their military heritage and a shift in attention from politics of war to remembering the human experience of war.

At the time when WWII members are less able to take an active part, the baton is being taken up by the new generation of returned and service members, as well as a rapidly growing number of the new Associate members, all part of a vibrant nationwide organization.

The needs for the RSA still exist today. The numbers of younger ex and present service personnel who have served in places like East Timor, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, will need the help of the RSA in the future, as did their forebears in the past. We need to be there for them.

Our future lies not only in those I have just mentioned, but indeed in the young people represented here today as The Honour guard, and the bugler. The Honour guard comes from 37 Squadron, ATC, under the command of SQDN LDR Horn. We, as an RSA are deeply indebted to them for their willingness to attend in these capacities, and it is indeed wonderful to see young people, teenagers indeed, taking part in such a way today. Your bearing on parade, and your dress is a credit to you and your officers.

Thank you sincerely, and you are invited back to the RSA for breakfast to continue to be a part of todays celebrations.

To all those that have taken part in todays parade, thank you sincerely for being here this morning.

Report on RSA Regional Meeting - Thames 2017

Last weekend, 21/22 May, Thames hosted the Waikato –B.O.Plenty regional meeting, at The Thames Workingmens Club, where they are domiciled. The meeting was attended by 86 delegates representing 24 RSA's from around the region, and was a great success.

The executive committee, with President Clive Collingwood and secretary Peter Sparrow, had their meeting on Saturday afternoon, and attending both that meeting and the Sunday Regional meeting was the new CEO of RSA, Jack Steer, who retired as Rear Admiral and Chief of Naval Staff recently. They and other RSA's who had arrived early to take in some of what the region has to offer, joined together with Thames members for a few quiet ones and dinner at the RSA. BY all accounts a great night.

Sunday was the big day, and with the help of the committee, the club was re- arranged to set up a convention type setting to accommodate all the attendees. The wives and families of committee members, and a committee member, provided morning tea, which was a truly delightful spread. Jim McDonald and Judith Scott then took about 10 wives on a tour around Thames and environs for 2 hours, and we have to thank the generosity of Whangamata for the loan of their mini-bus. Thanks Geoff.

The meeting started at 1015, and our Mayor, Sandra Goudie gave the opening address, and stayed for the whole meeting after being invited to do so, and took an active part in the meeting, making many helpful suggestions and comments. Thank you Sandra.

The meeting is a forum to hear of what is happening nationally, and within our district. Added to this was an address and a question and answer time from Jack Steer. There is no doubt, he is the right man for the job.

The meeting concluded at 1210, and with the help of many of the delegates, the rooms were reorganised to allow lunch to happen. We must say, that Debbie and her team provided a great meal, and great service, accommodating so many people at once. Many people commented, and some went into the kitchen to say so. The luncheon period allowed delegates to have an ale and a meal and talk amongst themselves, with the last one leaving around 1545.

Thames RSA did themselves proud with their organisation and production of the weekend, much of which rested on the shoulders, big as they are, of our secretary Jim. Thanks Jim, and your wife Anne, and daughter Kirsten, and all the others who baked, made sandwiches, banana and walnut loaf, savouries. Too many to mention.

David Sinton

(For more photo's from the meeting click on the button below)

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