Phil & Judy O'Connor Reports
As with all reunions there must be a beginning and sadly an end, where friendships are fostered and renewed.
Victor 4 has a proud reputation as being proactive in keeping the Company Members connected through the ‘Sitrep’ and our Reunions. We Victor 4 have been the leaders in fostering the comradeship between us all. This Pohara reunion bought 30 Victor 4 members and their wives/partners together once again.
The bid to run the reunion in Pohara was put forward at the Taupo reunion in 2022. It was accepted unopposed. In presenting the proposal it was important to not only sell why the reunion should be held in Pohara but also what the area has to offer to make the bid more attractive.
Although the numbers attending was small was due to several factors – Cyclone Gabrielle and its effect on some of our members in the affected areas, unreliable ferry sailings due to ships being out with mechanical problems and as we get older health problems. However, numbers attending this, or any other reunion are important to know in advance so that detailed arrangements can be made.
Members arrived, settled into accommodation which in most cases was co-located with the venues that were to be used for most of our other activities. Molly B’s (our local Café/Bar) was used as our ‘meet and greet’ on Tuesday afternoon/evening and our ‘formal dinner’ on Wednesday evening. The hospitality was excellent, and the food provided by ‘Amy’ our host was superb. I feel that a good time was had by all in attendance.
On Wednesday morning most of the reunion members gathered to start a tour of the Golden Bay local and historical sights. These included: Tarakohe Marina, the Old Golden Bay Cement Works, Golden Sands of Tata Beach, Abel Tasman Memorial, Coffee at the Wholemeal Café in Takaka township, Te Waikoropupu Springs, Anatoki Salmon Farm where fish were caught, smoked, and eaten and finishing mid-afternoon at the Kiwi Spirits Distillery. Lots of bonding was done during this day – a great time was had by all.
The weather for the whole three days was perfect including the Thursday morning where we remembered our ‘fallen’ and those ‘In Memorium’ at our recently built Memorial Gardens in the centre of Takaka township. The Service was conducted by ‘Padre’ John ‘Fiti’ White. This was followed by a lunch at the Takaka Fire Station after which many said their farewells and departed to Nelson, Picton or off to continue their South Island holiday.
The other three Vietnam Veterans that live in the Golden Bay area were invited to attend all our activities, however only one attended our Memorial Service on the Thursday morning. In small communities where there are only a few Vietnam Veterans I feel it is appropriate to invite them to our reunions. In larger communities it becomes a judgement call.
A great deal of help was solicited from the local community, they are only too happy to help where they can. Some of these were: Local Police, Fire Brigade, RSA, Fulton Hogan, Molly B’s, ITM Takaka, and friends and family.
At the Company meeting the Rarotonga bid put forward by Denise Doherty and it was enthusiastically agreed that it be adopted as the place for the 2024 Reunion.
The ‘Mighty Quin’s’ message was read at the Memorial Service. We thank him for his continued leadership and connection to our Victor 4 Company and wish him well and good health.
My thanks again to all those who provided guidance, and those that helped put this Reunion together.
Phil & Judy O’Connor
Convenors, V4 Pohara Reunion
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