An old Waipawa Districts RSA book of minutes dated May 1919 starts with: 24th May - Temporary Committee Appointed. 28th May - Motion passed that the association be duly formed as Waipawa District Returned Soldiers Association Inc.

At that meeting, nearly 100 years ago, the committee was comprised of Dr Deck, chairman; Mills, secretary; G Pedlar, treasurer; G Collett, vice chairman; Hogg, hon auditor; Wedde, hon solicitor; and a committee of G Dryden, Fergusson, F Nielson, Whittington, Limbrick, Brice, CE Coles and W King.

From that beginning the Waipawa Districts RSA had a close relationship with the Waipawa Borough Council - now CHB District Council. The first annual ball was held at the Waipawa Town Hall on September 10, 1919.

One hundred years on and a new committee has been formed to plan the 100th anniversary. The centenary celebrations will be held in the same building as that first annual ball - the renovated and renamed CHB Municipal Theatre.


Waipawa Districts RSA president Maitland Manning says the organisation has been exceptionally lucky that a past president and former mayor, the late Bill Bennett, had researched the minute books and recorded the history of the RSA.

Maitland himself took over the continuation of the records from 2006, meaning there is an almost complete set of records for the organisation.

Information and photos have been shared by families who have had a close relationship with the RSA, and Maitland says the committee is keen to make contact with more families or descendants of past RSA members.

The committee plans an extensive display in the CHB Settlers Museum reflecting the history of the Waipawa Districts RSA through information, photos and memorabilia.

There will also be a display of World War II military equipment from Hawke's Bay.

"We are working with the museum and many local people to be able to display this important part of CHB's history," says Maitland.

As part of Waipawa and Districts RSA's planned centennial celebrations the committee is putting together the history of its past presidents. The committee is looking to contact any friends or family members of former presidents or committee members who are still living in CHB or Hawke's Bay.

Current Waipawa and Districts RSA president Maitland Manning says, "These people may have photos or memorabilia which we would appreciate sighting to help us in recounting our history, over the past 100 years."


Information is sought regarding past presidents before 1993: 1919/20 Dr E J Deck, 1921 RHJ Pedler, 1922/27 Cyril Harker, 1928 Frank Eagle, 1929 Arthur Black, 1930/31 Dr H W M Kendall, 1932 /43 Harry Limbrick, 1944/46 Frank Logan, 1947/48 David Williams, 1949 Kevin McKay, 1950 M Ernie Wilson, 1951/53 Wally Cleverly, 1954/56, D L Burt,1957/62 Norm McPherson, 1963/71 Frank Robertshaw, 1972/78 Frank Kilkolly, 1979/91 Charlie Wolfram.

Anyone with information can contact Maitland Manning, phone 06 856 8511.

A centenary luncheon is planned for Saturday, May 25. Minister for Defence Ron Mark will attend as guest speaker, and Taradale RSA Concert Party will entertain with songs and music from the concert party era.

Tickets are $40 from CHB Municipal Theatre, 10am and 2pm weekdays, and at

The organising committee is looking for more history. If you are keen to contribute or to join the celebration at the CHB Municipal Theatre, Saturday May 25, please contact Walter Scott, phone 06 857 8697, Terry Kingston, phone 06 857 8392, Ray Taylor, phone 06 857 8656 or Helen Manning, phone 06 856 8511.