Topic: ANZAC

Elders keep ANZAC tradition alive at Porirua RSA

By Ripeka Timutimu
  • Wellington

Alongside the many ceremonies held on Anzac Day, there is also a tradition of having a few quite ones down at the local RSA. Our reporter Ripeka Timutimu visited the Porirua RSA to see if this tradition was still alive and kicking.

The glasses were full, and so was the room with laughter and happiness.

Ken Rangitutia served in the army for 14 years and for him there's no other place like this for him and one of his closest mates, Matekino Shelford.

Matekino Shelford says, “It’s a place where we can come and talk about things that we've done that I guess in real life they don't understand us, and that’s sad but that’s because we don't tell them.”

As you look around the room, most people are of veteran age.

“For me it’s a sad thing, here in this RSA, a lot of my friends and comrades have passed on, and I guess it is a sad thing for all of us,” says Ken Rangitutia.

These two have a challenge.

“We need to continue the RSA and bring those younger ones now into this environment so that we have an understanding of the future,” says Shelford.

So let’s leave the final words to this ex-soldier, who is often left unheard to the public.

Shelford says, “I find it humbling to be able to able to speak to my friends, especially those ones that have been involved in a firefight and lost friends. But we can come here and talk to my friends, like this one, and talk rubbish but we have an understanding.”