PRAISING RSA VOLUNTEERS
The recent Week of the Volunteer has come and gone, and we are fortunate that our city’s own volunteers soldier on.
Background volunteer work that effectively keeps the city’s wheels turning is largely taken for granted.
Some of the fine work carried out by individuals comes to light when the the Civic Awards are announced, highlighting individuals who have given decades of service to our community. They are but a few stalwarts who work with groups of like-minded people, or who work away under the radar.
Since the demise of the old RSA, the Anzac Day commemoration ceremonies have been maintained. One who worked quietly in the background to preserve that powerful tradition is Harry Komene.
During his long membership of the old RSA he had been heavily involved in the organisation of the Dawn and Civic Parades and was determined that the ceremonies would continue.
Off his own bat he held informal talks with the Cosmopolitan Club to provide the venue for Anzac Day commemorations and the parade gathering, and campaigned with PNCC to take on the organisation of both parades.
Chairman of the WWI Anzac Day 2015 co-ordinating committee, Harry focused on finding possible venues for the new RSA, and the Destination Hotel in Cuba St agreed to provide the venue for the RSA Club, with space for a welfare office and its historic memorabilia on very benign terms indeed.
A committee with Harry, John Thorne and Joe Hollander provided the administrative grunt to formalise the agreements, and went on to successfully establish our new RSA.
Harry is uniquely qualified to work in the background. He is a former member of the SAS serving in Malaya and Vietnam, and as an undercover police officer. Palmerston North is fortunate to have such dedicated and persistent individuals as Harry in its midst.