The October RV has been the catalyst for the strength of the Rhodesian Services Association. It has become a part of the the Rhodesian Services Associations annual calendar taking place in October over Labour Weekend in Tauranga, New Zealand. We are now expanding this to alternate venues between Tauranga and Auckland on a year-about basis.
The first RV was intended as a one off event. It was set up as a reunion and to acknowledge and honour the soldiers who had been decorated for their services in Rhodesia.
The first RV took place in Tauranga at the 6th Battalion (Hauraki) Group's HQ* in Tauranga during Labour Weekend in October 2002. The Commanding Officer of the unit, Lt. Col. John Dick ED welcomed us. During the course of the welcome Lt. Col. Dick said that he recognised us as soldiers and people who had lost our country and he invited us to form a museum display in the regiment's History Room to safeguard our history. When Lt. Col. Dick said the word "recognised" he did not realise the importance of that word to all Rhodesians. I assure you that there were very few dry eyes at the end of his speech that day.
That was the beginning which has led on to a strong association between former Rhodesian soldiers, their families and our new country, New Zealand. It must not be forgotten that the association between Rhodesia and New Zealand dates back to the late 1800's and the Anglo-Boer War and on through WWI and WWII and even into recent times where former Rhodesian soldiers work with New Zealanders in Iraq and Afghanistan
Anyone is welcome to attend the RV, irrespective of nationality or service to Rhodesia.
The next RV will be in Feb/March 2020.