Delight at poppy return to NZ
Members of the Waimate Returned and Services Association (RSA) are delighted production of the Anzac poppy is returning to New Zealand shores.
After three years of production overseas, the manufacture and production of the symbol synonymous with Anzac Day is returning to the Christchurch Memorial RSA.
Waimate RSA president Ron Bailey said the organisation's members were upset the contract was moved offshore in 2010, partly because of the tradition associated with the poppy and the loss of jobs to overseas workers.
"We were all against it. All of the fellows in the community were quite disappointed. They were adamant the RSA keep them from going overseas."
With local production set to resume in time for poppies to be distributed for Anzac Day in 2015, Bailey said RSA members around Waimate are jubilant.
"Everybody is very pleased ... they all wear their poppies with pride, especially on Anzac Day and at their comrade's funerals. I think no matter where you go their would be similar feelings."
He believes members of the public feel the same and have the same sense of pride when wearing a poppy, which he said is further enhanced when it's made in New Zealand.
"The poppies from Flanders Fields are a symbol of what happened where all of those people died ... it's very special."
Poppy sales raised about $2500 for the Waimate RSA in 2014, to provide welfare support for veterans.
The organisation has about 60 members in Waimate, 33 of which are ex- servicemen.
Up until 2010, poppies were assembled by a disabled persons enterprise in Christchurch, which took over the role from the defunct disabled persons re-establishment league.
The RSA national executive changed contract arrangements later that year. Chinese-made poppies first appeared as part of the annual poppy appeal in 2012.
- The Timaru Herald