Arrowtown war veterans are looking for new recruits to continue their cause before numbers fade away al- together.
Arrowtown Returned and Services’ Association presently has 12 World War Two and 13 compulsory military training vets who organise Anzac and Armistice Day services each year. President Rupert Iles says the number’s steadily declined over the past few years and within the “foreseeable future” there will be no one to carry the movement forward.
“If this Remembrance Day is to survive in Arrowtown a recruitment drive must be conducted for new members living in the district,” Iles says.
He’s keen to hear from any ex-service people from conflicts and peace-keeping forces since the 1939-45 war.
“It’s a question of doing something now or fading out. It’s that old motto, be prepared.”
All the Anzac Day action
Poppy sales – tomorrow at several Queenstown/Frankton locations, Saturday outside New World and Fresh Choice supermarkets
Sunday, 9.15am – assemble Memorial Gates for 9.30am parade to Memorial Hall; 10am service in hall, speech from Queenstown RSA president Dave Geddes; 10.45am, wreath-laying and dedication outside hall; 11am, Mustang fly-past
Sunday, 7-9pm – Queenstown RSA concert, We Will Remember Them at the Memorial Hall, with music, theatre and film featuring The Lynch Mob, The Bellebirds, several soloists and Wakatipu High students reading Letters from the Front. $5 single, $10 families, tickets on door
Poppy sales – tomorrow on main street
Sunday, 10.15am – Arrowtown RSA members form up outside Arrowtown Hall; 10.30am, service in hall, speech from Father Tony Harrison; 11.30am, wreaths laid on Monument Hill
The Ministry of Sport is donating 50 cents from every pint sold after 1pm on Anzac Day to the Queenstown RSA branch.
Ministry operations manager Dan Crawford says the donation is a way to show respect for the old diggers.
“For every pint poured we’ll put 50c into a wee bucket.”