Terry and Shirley Blakemore in front of what will become a Memorial Wall in the new extension. They have already sold 45 of the 300 memorial plaques available.
Young and old will come together in Wellsford on Anzac Day to remember those lost in war and pay their respect to returned servicemen and women.
Wellsford School students have been researching World War I and Gallipoli and creating artworks and poems to commemorate the day. Some of the poems will be read at the Dawn Parade at Wellsford Memorial Park on April 25.
The ANZAC artwork will be on display in Wellsford shop windows.
Wellsford RSA treasurer Shirley Blakemore says they have been working with local schools, including Tauhoa and Tapora, to commemorate the day.
The students will also be helping put in 100 miniature white crosses for a Field of Remembrance behind the Wellsford War Memorial Library.
She says it is important to find creative ways to keep the stories and lessons of war alive for future generations.
“If you don’t teach the kids what happened and the sacrifices that were made for their freedom then it will have all been in vain,” she says.
After the parade the community is invited to the Wellsford RSA on Olympus Road for tea and sausages until 9am when members will have a champagne breakfast. New members are welcome to join.
The RSA is still working on its $400,000 extension, due to be completed in June. The extension includes new dining, decks and a children’s playroom. A new kitchen cupboard and new toilets, including a disabled access toilet, have already been installed.
Wellsford RSA president Terry Blakemore says 60 new members have joined this year, bringing membership to 260.
He says the upcoming spruced up building, cheaper partner membership rates, and the increased coverage of the World War I centenary are all contributing to a renewed interest in the Returned Service Association.
Most of the Wellsford School art will be on display in the Ryburn building (opposite the library) until 24 April. The remaining art will be on display on shops and businesses throughout Wellsford.