Kaiapoi's RSA cemetery 'touch-up' a community effort

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This area of the Kaiapoi RSA cemetery is to be re-dedicated on Friday. File photo
This area of the Kaiapoi RSA cemetery is to be re-dedicated on Friday. File photo
A community effort has led to a re-dedication of Kaiapoi’s RSA cemetery.

The Kaiapoi RSA is hosting a special ceremony on Friday, February 26, after a community effort to “touch-up” the gravestones and install an information board to help descendants find their ancestors’ graves.

“The objective for the RSA is to give thanks for the new equipment and to celebrate what I term a real community effort between the Kaiapoi RSA, Veterans Affairs, the Waimakariri District Council and Kaiapoi High School,” Kaiapoi RSA president Neill Price says.

A year 11 literacy class from Kaiapoi High School spent time at the Kaiapoi RSA Cemetery last year checking off grave sites and matching the names of old soldiers and their spouses against a master list.

The information has been used to develop a map and plot-finder on an information board to make it easier for people to find the final resting place of family members.

“The students did a great job for us and my understanding is they received NCEA credits for their research side of the job,” Mr Price says.

Dignitaries at the event will include Waimakariri Mayor Dan Gordon, Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene, RSA national president BJ Clark and head of Veterans Affairs, Bernadine Mackenzie.

The public is welcome to attend, particularly the family members of those buried in the plots.

Descendants will receive a small posy from the Kaiapoi RSA at the conclusion of the ceremony to place on the grave of their family member.

The re-dedication ceremony will take place at the Kaiapoi Cemetery’s RSA section at 1.30pm on Friday, February 26.

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