New RSA facility about to open
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
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 .