RSA celebrates volunteer support

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Awards and scholarships . . . Volunteers and scholarship recipients gather with Duned RSA and RSA Welfare Trust representatives during last week's Dunedin RSA Christmas morning tea. Pictured are (back, from left) volunteer Colby Allen, RSA Welfare Trust chairman David Abercrombie, Dunedin RSA president Lox Kellas, volunteers Graham Nicholls and Richard Wells, NZ Remembrance Army representative Lanenne Rutherford, (front) scholarship recipient Avalon Beker, volunteer Matai McGinty, and scholarship recipient Tapekaoterangi Hakopa. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

The vital support of volunteers in supporting the city’s veterans and remembrance events was celebrated at last week’s Dunedin RSA Christmas morning tea.

Volunteers and representatives of groups which have supported the Dunedin RSA with events such as Anzac Day and Armistice Day, as well as helping support veterans at Montecillo War Veterans Home and Hospital, were presented with certificates of appreciation.

Dunedin RSA president Lox Kellas told the gathering the RSA could not function without the help of volunteers.

“Your support is of great importance for us. We couldn’t do it without you,” Mr Kellas said.

Certificates of appreciation were awarded to Colby Allen, who read the address on Armistice Day; Matai McGinty, who recited the ode in Te Reo; Dunedin RSA Choir board member Graeme Nichols; and Montecillo volunteer Richard Wells.

Three scholarships, presented by the RSA Welfare Trust, were also awarded to people with a connection to the armed forces. Avalon Beker received a scholarship of $1000 towards her bachelor of engineering studies. A $500 scholarship was awarded to Tapekaoterangi Hakopa towards his bachelor of dental surgery studies.

A $1000 scholarship was awarded in absentia to Hikaru Fitzgerald, to go towards bachelor of nursing studies.

The trust presented the Bill King Award to the Dunedin branch of the NZ Remembrance Army for its efforts in caring for the graves of service people in Dunedin’s Northern and Southern cemeteries.