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RSA marks 100 years of service with parade

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/10/2016

About 130 New Zealand Defence Force members and veterans are taking part in a parade to mark New Zealand's oldest Returned Service Association, Auckland RSA, which is turning 100.

The parade, hosted in conjunction with Ngati Whatua, at the Auckland War Memorial Museum at about 11am on Saturday is expected to last for an hour.

It's about celebrating the lives of veterans killed in conflict during the last 100 years and confirms the Auckland RSA's commitment to support veterans and their families for at least another 100 years, organisers say.

"I'm proud to be able to celebrate this significant milestone with veterans, the New Zealand Defence Force and the people of Auckland," says Graham Gibson, Auckland RSA's president and a veteran of the Vietnam War said.

Veterans from World War Two, Malaya, Vietnam, Bougainville, Bosnia, Angola, East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sinai, and Cambodia are taking part as well as Invictus athletes, many whom took part in the Invictus Games in the US earlier this year, winning 15 medals on behalf of New Zealand.

The Auckland Reserve Battalion (3/6 Battalion) will provide the flag party for the ceremony.

Ngati Whatua will play a significant role in the parade by welcoming veterans onto the forecourt with a conch shell alarm and karanga and supporting the troops marching off at the conclusion with a special dedication to the Maori Battalion.

Members of the public are welcome to attend.

On Sunday there will be a parade of veterans in Wellington city, followed by a wreath laying ceremony at Pukeahu National War Memorial.

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