Two members of the New Plymouth RSA club received awards in what was a rare ceremony yesterday.
President Hawea "Guv" Grey and vice-president Trevor Wylde were presented with gold star awards by RSA national president Don McIver for their tireless contribution to the organisation.
Mr McIver, of Wellington, said he could not remember a time when two recipients from the same club received the award together.
"That makes it a very special day," he said.
"They're outstanding men and outstanding members of RSA. They've both done a great job for their club over the years."
Mr McIver said not only had they worked within their own club for many years, they had served in a national capacity for more than five years.
"The two men have now recommitted themselves to RSA through being president and vice-president, which is significant to their ongoing commitment.
"I'm confident they will bring the club back into viability."
Mr Grey and Mr Wylde join just two other New Plymouth RSA members in the gold star club - Ron Bingham and Jim Carmine.
Mr Wylde, who served in the navy from 1954 to 1963, said it had been an emotional and honourable day.
He held in his pocket yesterday a photo of his father, who received a merit badge in 1967 but died before receiving a gold star.
"He would have gone on to get it otherwise," he said.
"I followed in his footsteps.
"This award today is in part for Dad."
Mr Grey joined the army as an engineer in 1960 before switching to the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, in which he served in Borneo, Vietnam, and Singapore.
Being involved in the RSA was just a part of his life, he said.
"Over the years I've learnt how to look after the RSA and the people within RSA, and that's something I really enjoy."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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