Poppy Day helpers wanted

By Liz Wylie

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POPPY APPEAL: Ziva Bunker, 2, placing a poppy at the Anzac Day Dawn Service in Whanganui last year.PHOTO/ STUART MUNRO
POPPY APPEAL: Ziva Bunker, 2, placing a poppy at the Anzac Day Dawn Service in Whanganui last year.PHOTO/ STUART MUNRO

The red poppy, symbol of rebirth and remembrance, will soon be on sale again to commemorate Anzac Day and support the RSA's work in assisting war veterans.

Volunteers are needed to help with the appeal in Whanganui this year and RSA manager Kyle Dalton said he would like to hear from anyone who can donate some time on Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16.

"This year is the 96th anniversary of Poppy Day which makes it one of the oldest nationwide appeals conducted by a voluntary welfare organisation in New Zealand," said Mr Dalton.

The RSA Wanganui manager said the proceeds from poppy sales are still very much needed and since 1990 over 25,000 new personnel have joined the New Zealand Defence Force.

"Their welfare needs are quite different from the needs of the older veterans. There are around 50 current personnel from Whanganui and surrounding districts," Mr Dalton said.

The RSA is also going digital this year with the option to donate via text message: text POPPY to 4462 to make a $3 donation.

Preparations for Anzac Day are under way at RSA Wanganui and wreaths are being layed out in readiness for the dawn service on April 25.

"We will have the wreaths laid out in the Wadey Room and people can come in and refurbish theirs if they wish to."

The dawn service will begin with the wreath laying at 5.30am on April 25 and Mr Dalton said Maori veterans will also be joining the main service as well as holding a later ceremony outside the War Memorial Centre at 11am.

In the event of wet weather, an announcement will be made at 5.30am advising that the dawn service is to be held inside the War Memorial Centre.

The Wanganui RSA is also planning a centenary dinner on May 14 which will be attended by RSA national president Barry John (B.J.) Clark. Mr Dalton said tickets will be available from Thursday, April 7 at cost of $45 each.

- Visit wanganuirsa.co.nz or call the Wanganui RSA on 06 345 5750.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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