Two services were held in Wellington to mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. A wreath-laying ceremony attended by the Governor General Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae, Prime Minister John Key and Chief
of Defence Force, LT Gen Tim Keating was held at the National War Memorial in Pukeahu War Memorial Park. Later in the morning a national commemoration was held at the Michael Fowler Centre. It was attended by Vietnam veterans, and a commemorative address was given by the Prime Minister and Mr Bob Davies on behalf of veterans. Photographs of those who were killed in action or died during the war were positioned around the stage throughout the service. The commemorations included a musical interlude featuring vocalist
LAC Barbara Graham, prayers, waiata and the Last Post. A personal perspective was given by
Mr Trevor Don whose father Sgt Alister Don was killed in action on 14 Sep 1965.
Quin and Robin sent me an email thanking everyone for making the day a memorable and awesome occasion.
He also thanked those who were unable to attend but sent their greetings.
He added that; “You may not have been there in body but were there in spirit”.
Quin said that he will treasure the memories of the occasion and the
‘Engraved Shell’ presented to him by Biggie Rat on behalf of Victor Four.
Allan Plaisted and Pete Ramsay at the ANZAC Cottage with the original flag made for the cottage 101 years ago. The cottage was built in one day by 400 people and it took Pete 10 years to restore it.
Hi all, I went to Eric Albert’s tangihanga today, 12 Victor 4 guys attended,
we were made to feel very welcome at the Mangamuka Marae.
David Kaye spoke on behalf of the V4 guys.
There were several other ex mil types there, Bunny Tumai, Kevin Herewini,
Wheels Williams (aka Wirimu Wirimu) and a few others who’s name I don’t know.
V4 guys were Kevin Campbell,Tai Rapana,Joe TeMiha, Wini Ashby, Jake Reihana, Me,
Zac Harris, Bill McCoid, Paul Thomas, Pete Gardner, Andy Peters and David Kaye.
The V4 musclemen (including myself) carried Eric’s casket to his final resting place.
Apart from the fact it was a solemn occasion it was an enjoyable day and it was good
to meet up with some of the old crew again.
Trevor (Beaver) Thompson
On Saturday, the 19th November 2016, a celebration for our Victor Four Company 2IC,
Quin Rodda’s 80th Birthday which was held at McHughs, Devonport, Auckland.
In addition to many of Quin’s and Robin’s friends including the over 60’s Church Choir, Bowling Club
and the local community, some of the V4 Family attended on his wife’s Robin’s open invitation.
They were; Bill Doherty and his family from the Cook Islands, Gordy and Glenys Nairn (Tauranga),
Phil and Judy O’Connor (Nelson), Wayne and Hilary Alexander (Bay of Islands), Trevor (Beaver) and
Nancy Thompson (Whangarei), Hugh Moran, Biggie Rat, (Both from Waihi) Sony Hona, (Palmerston Nth),
Bill Kora from Taneatua……. Waimana…… Tama Iti Country……Tuhoe and Self from South Auckland.
Pete Ramsay called from Perth (although the reception was clear, the hearing impairments of the
V4 guys resulted in a virtual…… “Nothing heard, over”. Pete thought that he was calling the
Annual Conference of the Deaf Association!
Paul Thomas (Perth-Northland) and Andy Peters (Auckland) also arrived a little late.
Quin gave a great speech which Bill replied to, enlightening those present on Quin’s ‘mana’
and respect that he held with the V4 Troops. It went down very well.
The oldie’s present were also delighted with the songs that were sung; Green Green Grass of Home,
10 Guitars, The Mighty Quin and ‘Cheap Charlie’. Many joined in.
Also on display were two montages with many photographs of him throughout the years.
I have included the one taken at Terendak in November 1969 where as a Captain, Quin was the Commander
of the Guard of Honour and Colour Party for the NZ Prime Minister of NZ, the Rt Hon Keith Holyoake.
Our V4 Forward Observation (FO) Party from 101 Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery,
taken at Freeman's Waterhole, Sydney.
Left to Right; Lt Dennis Barrow, Gnr Chris Dunker and Gnr Graham Bain.
Geoff (Dicko) Dixon passes on some line-out tips to former Wallaby Captain John Eales while former All Black Captain Wayne (Buck) Shelford listens intently to Dicko's words of wisdom. Yeah right.......................
The two rugby greats were each presented with our V4 Book prior to the ANZAC Day Civic Parade 2017.
On the 26th August 2017 a group of V4 guys and other ex-service personnel, along with their wives,
partners and families gathered at the Waioweka Marae, Opotiki to celebrate the life of
Amokura (Ruk) RakuRaku who died in Australia on the 9th July.
At the Auckland Botannical Gardens, Manurewa, a sculpture exhibition was held.
Amongst them was one that featured 3500 plus 'Dog-Tags' hanging in a tree of NZ Servicemen
and Servicewomen who served in the Vietnam War.
Entitled Strange Fruit (Revised) by Donna Turtle Sarten, it is a response to NZ's Military involvement in the Vietnam war. The work serves as a memorial to those who died, those who served, returning with post-traumatic stress disorder and the many who have since died from illness related to their time in Vietnam.
Gordon Benfell discussing the employment and effects of the exciting new Designated Marksman’s Weapon with NZ patrol members in Bamyan, Afghanistan in Sep 2011.
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