A toast to 100 years of honouring our veterans

By Liz Wylie liz wylie@wanganuichronicle co nz

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RSA Wanganui president Ted Morris and women's section president Marilyn Morris cut the cake at Saturday's celebration.PHOTOS/STUART MUNRO
RSA Wanganui president Ted Morris and women's section president Marilyn Morris cut the cake at Saturday's celebration.PHOTOS/STUART MUNRO

Wanganui Returned and Services Association celebrated their centenary with a four-course dinner and toasts to absent friends on Saturday.

The guest speaker was RSA national president Barry John (BJ) Clark who travelled up from Canterbury for the Whanganui branch's hundredth birthday.

Manager Kyle Dalton said the kitchen staff did a fantastic job and cake maker Stacey Williams produced another of her stunning cakes for the occasion.

"There were 75 guests at the dinner and they ranged from young members who are currently serving to a couple of veterans in their 90s," he said.

"BJ Clark spoke briefly about the national RSA happenings and about how post traumatic stress injury [PTSI] is coming to the fore amongst younger combat veterans."

Mr Dalton said it is not that older veterans have not experienced PTSI but it is only in recent years that it has been diagnosed and effective treatments sought.

"Everyone had a very enjoyable night and people stayed on to reminisce after the formalities ended around 10 o'clock and the last guests left at around 1am."

The RSA was established in April 1916, when the first national meeting of returned soldiers from World War I was held and the Wanganui club formed the same year.

Now that Anzac Day and the centenary celebrations have concluded, Mr Dalton said the next event on the calendar is the annual general meeting on May 29.

"We have had just the right number of nominations this year so we won't need to hold elections," said Mr Dalton.

With three new executive members on board, Mr Dalton said there is a good mix of experience and younger members with energy to share.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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