Over 200 service personnel joined in the parade.
Returned and service personnel march in parade to commemorate and celebrate 100 years of the RSA
Over 200 people participated in a parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RNZRSA), at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington on Sunday 9th October.
The parade group, of about 160 returned and former service personnel, marched into the park, before receiving review by Royal New Zealand Navy Rear Admiral John Martin ONZM. Members of the RSA, New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and the Australian Returned and Services League (RSL) then conducted a remembrance ceremony before the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. Musicians from the NZ Army Band performed “Nightfall in Camp, The Last Post”, then the commemoration was closed by piper playing the Lament.
RSA National Vice President Bob Hill – known to most as Bukit, which is Malay for Hill – led the organisation of the parade. Mr Hill retired from the New Zealand Army in 1985 with the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major before becoming an integral part of the RSA movement.
“The RSA started out of necessity when Captain Donald Simpson and his fellow soldiers came back to New Zealand on first ship from Gallipoli, in late 1915.
“Since then, the RSA has been here, offering support to those who have served, and remembering those who have fallen,” Mr Hill said.
“This parade – with all of us marching together, past and present service personnel, from all branches of the military – is one way we can recognise, support and remember the service and sacrifice of those who have gone before us, and those who will come after.”
The RSA movement currently has 183 local RSAs nationwide, with a total membership of over 100,000 people. Sunday’s events will celebrate 100 years of service and support, while recognising the important role the organisation will continue to play into the next century.