The New Zealand National Executive body of The King's Empire Veterans is coming to an end and the closing ceremony will take place in Te Awamutu with the involvement of some Te Awamutu College students.
The King's Empire Veterans was formed in 1900 by the Governor of New Zealand at the time, Lord Ranfurly, and is exclusively for defence force veterans living in New Zealand.
Members must have been awarded a medal for serving in a New Zealand defence force overseas during a foreign conflict.
In 1903 Lord Ranfurly also established the Ranfurly Veterans Home in Three Kings in Auckland and the first occupants were returned veterans of the Crimean War and the New Zealand Wars.
The home is now a part of Ranfurly Village retirement establishment and is a National War Monument.
In the early 1900s The King's Empire Veterans membership at about 500 but by the 1930s membership dropped drastically to fewer than 30.
Fast forward to the late 1980s and membership was up around 6000 and there were 17 branches and 12 sub branches around the North Island.
Today there are five branches in New Zealand - Te Awamutu, Nelson, Rotorua, Silverdale and Auckland.
The King's Empire Veterans Te Awamutu president Ross Wardlaw said the local branch had approximately 30 members plus their partners, but he did not know how many members there were nationwide.
The longest and oldest serving member of The King's Empire Veterans is a part of the Te Awamutu branch. He is 98-year-old Colin Murray and it is believed he joined the association in the early 1950s. He is also currently vice-president of the Te Awamutu branch.
Ross is also the immediate past New Zealand national president for the association and said that the national executive body was ending because it is no longer needed.
"We are finding that we are now at no real credit or value to any of the other King's Empire Veterans branches in New Zealand," said Ross.
The closing event is being held on Wednesday, March 18 at the Te Awamutu RSA and over 60 people are coming so far. This includes members and their partners and families.
The event will include a ceremony followed by a lunch.
"We will be doing what they call in the army the laying up of colours with the King's Empire Veterans flag which has every battle we've ever been in printed on it," said Ross.
Cadets from Te Awamutu College will be marching in and presenting the flag.
A returned veteran and member of The King's Empire Veterans will then read the Ode in English. A Te Awamutu College student will then read the Ode in Māori.
The lunch will be served by food tech students from Te Awamutu College.
The oldest medal to be awarded to a veteran who became a member of The King's Empire Veterans was from the naval engagement in Acre, which in 1840 was a part of Syria.
Members of the association also held medals from the capture of Hong Kong in 1841 and the Battle of Scinde in 1853.
Other battles, wars and campaigns that the association's members have fought in include the Gwalior campaign, both of the Sikh Wars, the Burmese War, the Kaffir War, the Crimean War, the bombardment of Odessa, the battle of Alma, the battle of Balaclava, the Battle of Inkerman, the Anglo-Persian War, the Indian Mutiny, the third Chinese War, the Māori Wars, the Ashanti expedition, the Anglo-Zulu war, the Transvaal campaign, the Vietnam War, the Afghan War, the Indian Frontier Campaign, the Boer War, World War I and World War II.
After the national body officially closes The King's Empire Veterans Association will continue but each regional body will manage their group independently.