Three hon­oured as life mem­bers

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PURONGORONGO - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

Life time mem­ber­ships to three Pu­taruru RSA mem­bers have been a se­ri­ously long time com­ing.

Royce Drum­mond, Richard Ja­cobs and Tony FitzHer­bet have racked up a com­bined 180 years in the ser­vice.

It had been eight years since a Pu­taruru mem­ber had re­ceived one of the awards, pres­i­dent Mur­ray Bath said.

‘‘The things we look out for are ser­vices to the RSA and com­mu­nity,’’ Bath said.

He said the de­ci­sion was made by the com­mit­tee and sent to the Welling­ton na­tional of­fice which had the fi­nal say.

The three mem­bers said it was un­ex­pected but they were over­joyed.

‘‘To be made a life mem­ber of any­thing is amaz­ing . . . it means they’ve ap­pre­ci­ated our mem­ber­ship to the RSA,’’ FitzHer­bet said. Royce Drum­mond RSA mem­ber­ship: 67 years As a keen lawn bowls player Drum­mond spent 24-years run­ning around af­ter the RSA bowls club.

The Pu­taruru res­i­dent said it was cer­tainly never a must on the bucket-list.

‘‘[I did it] mainly be­cause I was bloody told to,’’ he said.

Yet it did not stop Drum­mond from do­ing a stand up job or­gan­is­ing raf­fles and sort­ing out the teams.

Not only did the 91-year old com­mit to the team he hap­pily took out his time for the an­nual poppy sales.

For 40 years, Drum­mond dis­trib­uted the those red flow­ers to the peo­ple of Ara­puni. Richard Ja­cobs RSA mem­ber­ship: 44 years

Whether it was out in the bat­tle­field or the streets of Pu­taruru, Ja­cobs was there to serve oth­ers.

The 90-year old was a mem­ber of the Le­gion of Fron­tiers­men and although the clan is not around to­day many will re­mem­ber see­ing them on their horses as­sist­ing in traf­fic con­trol.

‘‘There were a lot of RSA guys who wound up in it,’’ he said.

Ja­cobs said it didn’t mat­ter what the event was, they would be there. ‘‘Some would last a week and some would last a fort­night.’’

The ‘‘sat­is­fac­tion’’ from the vol­un­teer work came from the sense of safety felt by the com­mu­nity.

Be­fore Ja­cobs’ award of the life­time mem­ber­ship he gained the pres­ti­gious Pi­o­neers Axe award. It recog­nises ex­cep­tional and ex­em­plary ser­vice to the New Zealand Com­mand. Tony FitzHer­bert RSA mem­ber­ship: 69 years Born and bred in Pu­taruru, FizHer­bert re­turned to where he grew up and built up his life around com­mu­nity ser­vice.

The 93-year old proudly claimed mem­ber­ship at the Freema­sons ma­sonic lodge for 50 years.

Dur­ing his time, FitzHer­bert trav­elled the coun­try as a Grand­mas­ter of the Waikato. FitzHer­bert’s en­joy­ment for ca­ma­raderie re­flected in his var­i­ous roles in the com­mu­nity.

As a golf club pres­i­dent, Jus­tice of Peace and a free au­di­tor for the Pu­taruru RSA club, there were few things he would not do for his com­mu­nity.

‘‘I’ve en­joyed what I’ve done here,’’ he said.

Life achieve­ment: Royce Drum­mond, left, Richard Ja­cobs and Tony FitzHer­bert proudly join the life­time mem­ber­ship roll.

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