Two stalwarts of the Matamata Memorial Returned Services Association were honoured on Friday night for their tireless contribution to the club.
Clive Collingwood, who just started a term as Waikato Bay of Plenty King Country president, was presented with a gold star and Peter Love was awarded a life membership.
New Zealand RSA vice president BJ Clark travelled from Christchurch to make the presentations and said they were well deserved.
‘‘One of the things about RSA awards – and I’m a great believer in them – is people put so many hours of their personal time into this great organisation and it’s without any way of recompense.
‘‘The only way you can acknowledge those people is these awards.’’
Gold stars were not awarded lightly and only 10 or 15 members across the country received one each year, he said.
It recognises at least 20 years of service to not only a local club but the national organisation.
Mr Collingwood was
a carpenter and joiner in the Royal New Zealand Engineers Army from 1976 to 1982.
He spent that time in New Zealand and was based in Papakura and later Waiouru, where incidentally he served with Mr Clark.
He first joined the RSA in Mamaku in 1978 and became a member in Matamata after moving to Tirau in 1995.
Last year he attended the National Council in Wellington and has been to every national conference since 1999.
He has served seven terms as club president in Matamata and led poppy and Anzac services in Tirau every year. He has also chaired the Welfare and Poppy Trust.
Mr Clark thanked his wife Shirley for all her support and presented her with a necklace to mark almost 41 years together.
Mr Love also spent his army years in New Zealand as infantry in the National Service Army from 1964 to 1967.
He has been a member of the Matamata RSA for 24 years and served three years as president and four as club chairman.
His lifetime membership is an acknowledgement of his huge involvement in all areas of volunteer work carried out by the RSA.
‘‘He is even a kitchen man,’’ said Mr Clark.
Mr Love said it was a privilege to become a life member.
Matamata president Graeme Waterson said it was a great achievement on both parts.
Photo: NICOLA STEWART
Long service: National RSA vice president BJ Clark presents Peter Love with a life membership to Matamata Memorial RSA.
Rare honour: Matamata Memorial RSA member Clive Collingwood pictured with wife Shirley after receiving his gold star.