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Paraparaumu RSA


Paraparaumu RSA was formed by local WW1 returned soldiers in 1921 as a sub-branch of the Wellington Returned Soldiers Association.

Members initially met in local halls, homes, or wherever cheap accommodation

was available. For many years, returned veterans used a clubroom nicknamed "The Dug Out" in the grounds of Paraparaumu Domain.

One of the first major projects for war veterans and their families was to create a lasting war memorial. With extensive use of voluntary labour, it was completed at a modest cost of 500 pounds sterling and dedicated by the Governor General, Admiral Lord Jellicoe of Jutland in 1924.

Today, the imposing Memorial Arch at the Paraparaumu Domain is floodlit at night after being renovated in 2014 at a cost of $275,000 - this was through funding support from Kapiti Coast District Council and the Lottery Grants Board.

It is a special landmark in the district, particularly for ANZAC Day and other commemorative parades.

Members then turned their attention to fundraising for their own premises and first bought a property on the corner of Seaview Road and Ocean Road at Paraparaumu Beach, before achieving a landswap with the Public Works Department for the home of the Public Works foreman in Amohia Street - this was in 1972.

The land swap meant the RSA was to be situated right next to the Memorial Arch. The official opening took place on 21 April 1973, four days before ANZAC Day, and the dedication was performed by the Rev Keith Elliott VC.

Between 1973 and 2016 the foreman's cottage became the hub of the Paraparaumu RSA with additions over the years to create extensive premises including: a lounge, dining room, drinkers snug, large snooker room and gaming room.

In 2001, Paraparaumu RSA ceased being a branch of Wellington RSA and was incorporated as the Paraparaumu Memorial Association. This had 2093 members.

By 2013 Paraparaumu RSA was beginning to feel the effects of an economic downturn - like most ofther RSAs - which meant less discretionary income for members which caused falling attendance and revenue.

Despite many efforts to improve services and reduce costs, a special general meeting was held and members were told to "use it or lose it" - the RSA's debt slowly worsened.

In late 2014, it was clear that the Kapiti Club on Marine Parade had been facing a continuing trading downturn and difficulties and, in early 2015, discussions began on a possible amalgamation.

A Letter of Intent was agreed and a Memorandum of Understanding and Deed of Trust was drafted for Special General Meetings to be held by both clubs in May 2015. The RSA voted 240-5 in favour of amalgamation, and the Kapiti Club voted 170-3.

In September 2015, the Governor General and Mayor of Kapiti, launched Club Vista before a packed house. A Club Vista board had been appointed, including RSA representatives - RSA president Chris Turver and vice-president Adrian Ahern.

The amalgamation has proved a great success with 2,600 members by the end of March 2016, and a healthy surplus forecast.

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