Poppy Day the key to re­mem­brance and sup­port

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Col­lec­tors will be out in force to­day for Poppy Day.

The an­nual ap­peal helps the RSA sup­port veter­ans and the fam­i­lies of ser­vice peo­ple who are in need.

Poppies are the first flow­ers that grew in the bat­tle­fields of Flan­ders in Bel­gium dur­ing World War I and are a sym­bol of re­mem- brance and hope. New Zealand’s first Poppy Day was held in 1922.

Aus­tralia, Canada and the United King­dom cel­e­brate the day on Ar­mistice Day in Novem­ber. New Zealand was plan­ning to fol­low suit, but the ship car­ry­ing the first lot of poppies from France in 1921 ar­rived too late and so the Fri­day be­fore An­zac Day was se­lected.

RSA chief ex­ec­u­tive Stephen Clarke says 91 years later New Zealan­ders still strongly sup­port the ap­peal.

Last year it raised $1.8 mil­lion which is its sec­ond largest col­lec­tion ever.

Mr Clarke says there are around 15,000 Ki­wis who have served overseas since the 1990s in places like Bos­nia, East Ti­mor and Afghanistan.

There are also still more than 10,000 liv­ing World War II veter­ans.

‘‘At the younger end they are in their late 80s and some are over 100. There is still a big need,’’ Mr Clarke says.

If you see a col­lec­tor on the street, or out­side the shops show your sup­port.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.