By DAVID HILL
Rangiora RSA celebrated its centenary in style last weekend.
President Ian Thompson says the weekend’s festivities began on Friday evening at the Rangiora RSA Club, with Christchurch singing group The Starlets performing wartime-era songs, alongside the Rangiora Brass, which turned 140 year this year.
“There was a lot of dancing and a lot of happy people,” he said.
Mr Thompson was joined by patron Graeme Matheson to cut the centenary cake, made by Artisan Rangiora Bakery.
A mystery bus trip the next day saw past and present members visit other RSAs, beginning with the Templeton RSA, then on to the Hornby Workingmen’s Club, Mr Thompson said.
The bus stopped at the Papanui RSA for dinner.
“They went the extra mile and baked a 100-year cake and made us very welcome.”
Next stop was the Papanui Club for a few drinks, before calling in at the Kaiapoi Club to catch up with friends at the Kaiapoi RSA.
“At 10pm we arrived back at the Rangiora RSA and some of the members carried on and ate the cake which Papanui had made for us.”
The weekend culminated with a dinner on Sunday evening for 70 past and present RSA committee members, including the women’s section.
There were speeches from Canterbury district RSA president Stan Price, Kaiapoi RSA president Neill Price, Waimakariri Mayor Dan Gordon, Rangiora RSA Club president Ross Ditmer and Mr Thompson, with national RSA president BJ Clark a late apology.
“When the Rangiora RSA was first established, the Rangiora mayor was instrumental, so it was appropriate to have the present-day mayor speak,” Mr Thompson said.
“It was a very good three days and a lot of appreciation must go to our staff.
“They did a great job,” Mr Thompson said of celebrations.
He says the Christchurch RSA established in New Zealand, in 1916 praise” for playing an integral in the establishment of other Canterbury RSAs, including Rangiora and Kaiapoi, whose inaugural meetings were held just four days apart in 1919.