RSA Centenary 

The Levin RSA was formed in May 1919 and an enthusiastic group is planning a weekend to remember for past and present members next year. A street parade, a dance in the Levin and Districts War Memorial Hall and an Anzac biscuit baking contest are amongst the events being organised, along with static displays of military vehicles and strong representation from the three branches of the armed forces. Twenty-two presidents have served the RSA and a roll call of past presidents – from James Campbell Neil in 1919 to Wayne Kaye in 2019 – was answered by their families before the parade started at the Memorial Hall. A meeting to discuss the formation of a returned soldiers club was held at the back of Ken Aitken’s book and stationery shop on April 29, 1919. Just seven days later, on May 10, 1919, they held their first meeting. Highlights of the past 100 years included the fundraising and building of the Memorial Hall, the building of the RSA Clubrooms, the establishment of the RSA Bowling Club and the formation of the Women’s Section, a holiday home at Waitarere Beach, as well as alterations and additions that enlarged and modernised the hall that was opened in 1953. The past three years have not been easy for the club. In September 2015 the executive committee announced at the annual meeting that because of high overheads and a dwindling bank account the club had no option but to close. But within a couple of weeks it was decided by the new executive committee to open the club for two days a week. Led first by past president Les Macdonald and then current president Wayne Kaye and supported by a hard-working team of volunteers, members are enjoying the fellowship of friends, meals in the restaurant and fortnightly entertainment on Wednesdays and Fridays from 4pm. In 2017 a special meeting was held to discuss with members the need to reduce overheads and it was decided to build a wall to divide the club into two spaces. The rear of the club is now occupied by Jack Allen Community Hub, a hive of activity with 15 community groups occupying it. With the help of the fundraising 100 Club, which is well supported by members and friends, the RSA’s debt is reducing steadily. Today it has 483 members and is proud to have weathered the rough years and to be one of Levin’s oldest clubs.