The Eden Park Trust is delighted to formally announce a partnership with Auckland RSA and Barfoot & Thompson that will see the opening of New Zealand’s smallest Returned and Services Association (RSA).
Working in collaboration with Barfoot & Thompson and The Eden Park Trust, the Auckland RSA will utilise Eden Park’s iconic pavilion at the eastern end of the stadium for the hosting of veterans and their families at selected events held at New Zealand’s national stadium.
Eden Park has had a long association with the Auckland RSA and this initiative will cement our commitment to the veterans and their families.
“Eden Park is aware of the generations of New Zealand Defense Force personnel who represented our country overseas and the strong affiliation they and their families have had and continue to have with Eden Park,” says Guy Ngata, Chief Executive, The Eden Park Trust. “We welcome this opportunity to honour their memory and to support the Service community today.”
Until the 1980s the 100-year-old Auckland RSA ran the largest club in the country on High Street. Today it no longer owns clubrooms as its primary focus is supporting veterans and their families, including support for the NZDF Defence Blacks rugby, the NZDF Invictus team and the Fields of Remembrance.
“We’ll be the smallest RSA in the country but we believe it’ll be the biggest hit with the young serving men and women of our New Zealand Defence Force,” says Graham Gibson, Auckland RSA president.
“It’s also an opportunity for these young veterans and their families to catch up with our older veterans in an enjoyable environment.”
“The Auckland RSA is revitalising the way we reach out to the Service community and our new event day home at Eden Park is another shining example,” says Mr Gibson.
The Auckland RSA could not deliver its duty of care without the generous support of Aucklanders during the Poppy Appeal, which continues to be the primary means of supporting veterans and their families. With that end in view, the Blues Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes on Saturday evening will support the Auckland RSA Poppy Appeal.
For Barfoot & Thompson, founded by a young World War I veteran Val Barfoot and joined later by Maurice Thompson who served in World War II, this is an opportunity to support the Service community.
“At Barfoot & Thompson we care about family and relationships and we are delighted that Service people, young and old, will have the opportunity to come together here at Eden Park,” says Peter Thompson, Managing Director.