New RSA fa­cil­ity about to open

The Tribune (NZ) - - COMMUNITY - GE­ORGE McIRVINE

For the last cou­ple of years Palmer­ston North, ar­guably the largest mil­i­tary city in New Zealand with Lin­ton and Ohakea nearby and a strong mil­i­tary history and her­itage, has had no Re­turned and Ser­vices As­so­ci­a­tion.

This is since the old RSA was placed in re­ceiver­ship in De­cem­ber 2012 amid con­sid­er­able con­tro­versy and bad feel­ing.

Re­cently, with spe­cial thanks to Joe Hol­lan­der, that has changed. The Palmer­ston North RSA 2014 Inc has been reg­is­tered as an in­cor­po­rated so­ci­ety with an all new ex­ec­u­tive, while en­thu­si­as­tic mem­bers of the es­tab­lish­ment com­mit­tee have been busy or­gan­is­ing a new venue and of­fice premises.

This has been helped greatly by splen­did co-op­er­a­tion from Dis­tinc­tion Ho­tels of New Zealand.

A public meet­ing chaired by na­tional RSA pres­i­dent B. J Clarke, was held at the Dis­tinc­tion on May 26 for peo­ple in­ter­ested in re­form­ing the RSA club. More than 200 at­tended in­clud­ing serv­ing per­son­nel from both Lin­ton and Ohakea.

A de­ci­sion was taken to re­open an RSA of­fice, and use a spe­cially des­ig­nated area of the Dis­tinc­tion Ho­tel at 175 Cuba St for mem­bers to meet and so­cialise. In an in­ter­est­ing quirk of fate, this is very close to the site of the orig­i­nal RSA which formed nearby in early 1916.

The re-es­tab­lish­ment of the PNRSA could be a good ex­am­ple to fol­low for many RSAs un­able to main­tain their own fa­cil­i­ties, work­ing with a pro-ser­vices or­gan­i­sa­tion for a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial out­come. Many peo­ple and busi­nesses have do­nated time, of­fice equip­ment and money to en­able the club to re­open in­clud­ing do­na­tions from mayor Grant Smith and lo­cal MP Ian LeesGal­loway.

A mem­bers and in­vited guest­sonly launch will be held next Wed­nes­day from 4pm till 7pm. The in­vi­ta­tion mea­sure is due to space con­straints

Ini­tially the club will open on Wed­nes­days from 4pm till 7pm with the of­fice open on Mon­day and Fri­day from 1pm till 4pm.

The Palmer­ston North RSA Wel­fare Trust will con­tinue to op­er­ate from the Se­nior Cit­i­zens Hall, Main St, on Tues­days and Fri­days from 9.45am till 11.45am

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Armed with loaded paint rollers and look­ing dan­ger­ous, Gor­don Smith and Graeme New­bery are a cou­ple of likely lads on spe­cial fa­tigue in the Dis­tinc­tion Ho­tel on Cuba St, help­ing pre­pare the home of the new Palmer­ston North RSA .

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