The Tribune (NZ) - - CONVERSATIONS -

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.

Don Robert­son

Palmer­ston North

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