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2008 Poppy Day Appeal


Fri 18 Apr 2008, 8:00am

Where: All over New Zealand, Wellington

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Our annual Poppy Appeal is the RSA’s major fundraising campaign allowing us to continue the work that means so much to the thousands of veterans and their families who require assistance from the RSA.

The RSA requires in excess of $2 million to carry out its welfare work. This includes the provision of glasses, hearing aids and essential dental work, specialist medical appointments as well as private surgery that is either not available through the public system or only possible after a long period on a waiting list. RSA welfare officers transport frail veterans to and from hospitals for treatment, visit those domiciled in veterans’ rest homes and hospitals and provide residents with those little extra comforts that make life that little bit better. Emergency financial assistance is available where essential need extends beyond the limitations of government and other community support.

In short, the RSA helps people of all ages, providing financial, social and emotional help to all those who have been affected by conflict. Beneficiaries range from children to widows, from single mothers to pensioners, in fact anyone who finds themselves in need. Recipients need not be members of an RSA to benefit from Poppy Day Appeal assistance, but must be veterans or their dependents in need.

Donations made to the Poppy Day Appeal are used to support RSA welfare services for veterans in the locality in which the funds are raised – it is a local appeal conducted nationwide.

Some 200,000 people – that’s one in twenty of the New Zealand population – are eligible to approach us for help.

The 2008 Poppy Appeal campaign highlights the following stark facts about those in need of assistance from the RSA:

- Over 15,000 veterans with a disability, and receiving War Disablement Pensions; plus many more who have not made those applications.
- Many veterans without visitors, in rest homes and retirement villages or in their own homes.
- Families who need our support.
- Over 5,000 War Widows who are receiving the Surviving Spouse Pension, and others who have not made those applications.
- Many new veterans are being made every year with current New Zealand Defence Force deployments in many parts of the world. With a large proportion of the personnel under 30, the RSA’s role of safeguarding the welfare and interests of serving and ex-service people will be needed for many years to come.
- The New Zealand-made Poppy is a national icon, recognising the RSA’s endeavours to care for war veterans as well as remember those who never returned from war.

“The RSA is most grateful for the public's support of the Poppy Appeal,” said RSA National President Robin Klitscher. “The Poppy provides the means for every New Zealander to remember on ANZAC Day and at the same time to support our veterans and their families all year round”.

Launch of the 2008 RSA Poppy Appeal and “Poppies on Parliament” by The Hon Rick Barker, Minister of Veterans’ Affairs, Banquet Hall, Executive Wing, Parliament (Invitation Only and Media), Wednesday 16 April 2008 from 6.15pm (formalities begin from 7.00pm).

“Poppies on Parliament”, Wednesday 16 April and Thursday 17 April (7pm to 11pm), including the historic film Heroes of Gallipoli.

The 30 minute programme which includes dramatic projections of giant poppies, great fun for the children, and a screening of the 20 minute historic film Heroes of Gallipoli (which is also suitable for children), will be played on a continuous loop from 7pm to 11pm on the full facade of historic Parliament House.

The only film footage from the historic 1915 campaign Heroes of Gallipoli shows scenes of British, Australian and New Zealand troops filmed by the famous English war correspondent Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett.

Oscar-winning film director Peter Jackson’s recent restoration of this historic film for the Australian War Memorial has just been listed with UNESCO’s Memory of the World register. It is believed that this will be the first open-air public screening of this film in New Zealand.