Poppy Day appeal hits streets

Poppy Day Appeal volunteer Gordon Batchelar, associate member of the RSA.
Poppy Day Appeal volunteer Gordon Batchelar, associate member of the RSA.

It may not be based in the same rooms as before, but this year's annual Poppy Day appeal is in full swing in Palmerston North today.

The closure of the Palmerston North Returned and Services Association club on Broadway Ave hasn't hampered the collectors.

Palmerston North Poppy Day co-ordinator Leith Rowe and her team of volunteers have moved base to the Savage Club Hall on Campbell St with collectors pounding the pavements as normal.

Early this morning street volunteers were out with boxes of the red Anzac icons and collection buckets.

Among them was Palmerston North man Gordon Batchelar, who has been lending a hand for 15 years.

Not a returned service man himself, but with family who served overseas and an associate member of the RSA, Mr Batchelar said he would be collecting for many more years to come yet.

''It's a good thing to support and to look after the soldiers that have helped our country.''

Mr Batchelar has the morning pencilled in at the Post Office on Church St before making his was to Countdown in Kelvin Grove.

Joining him later in the day will be soldiers from Linton Military Camp, army cadets from QEC and a class from Palmerston North Boys' High School.

Mrs Rowe said she was unsure how this year's event will go, following the indebted RSA building closure, but hoped people would still support the annual Poppy Day appeal.

Last year's collection raised about $35,000 for the RSA trust, which is was separate from the club and takes care of ex-service and returned service people.

None of the money raised would go to fixing the club's $2.15 million financial woes, instead it goes into another account to aid the trust's services.

Manawatu Standard