Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
After the War: The RSA in New Zealand
Afterthe War: The RSA in New Zealand
03 October 2016
The story of an iconic institution — the RSA — from
its beginnings during the First World War through to the twenty-first century.
2016 marks the centenary of the Royal New Zealand
Returned And Services Association which has been an integral part of NZ society
since the First World War. After the War tells the story of how the RSA has serviced the
community and how it will continue to do so.
While there is a
surge in people attending dawn parades and many give generously on poppy day,
not all understand the importance of the RSA. After the War will
help educate people on this readily identifiable but little-understood
organisation.It tells of the trials and tribulations of returning
soldiers wanting an organisation to represent them, and how the RSA made sure
they received a fair deal as they settled back into domestic life after serving
RSA was formed in 1916 to ensure that those who served in our Armed Forces were
supported when they came home to New Zealand. The RSA has been able to assist
directly through dispersing the generous donations of New Zealanders giving to
the annual Poppy Collection and indirectly through advocating for improved
benefits initially via the 1954 War Pensions Act which has now been replaced by
the War Disablement Pension. Thousands of volunteers have contributed to ensure
this prime function has been met,’ explains BJ Clark, RSA National President.
‘The other main
role of the RSA over the past centenary is our responsibility for Remembrance,
to ensure that the service of our veterans is never forgotten. The crowds
attending Anzac Day have continued to swell over the last 10 years and our
young are showing a genuine interest in remembering the service of those who
served this country overseas.’ The RSA still continues to help veterans. As
long as the New Zealand defence force is serving overseas there will be many
contemporary veterans who require support and will continue to do so.
After the War is a highly illustrated look at this threatened icon
of New Zealand culture. The story is told not only in text but also through use
of photographs and ephemera. A fascinating read, it is written by historian Dr
Stephen Clarke, a history graduate of the University of Otago and the
University of New South Wales. His long-time interest has been the social and
cultural impact of war on New Zealand society with expertise in the observance
of Anzac Day.
About the author:
After two years as Historian with the Ministry for
Culture and Heritage, Dr Clarke joined the Royal New Zealand Returned and
Services Association in 2001 to work on national projects and later public
relations. As Chief Executive he led the strategic transformation and rebrand
of the RSA between 2008 and 2013. This was followed by a year at the Royal
British Legion in London, where as the first Head of Remembrance he oversaw the
start of the First World War Centenary programme. He is currently Director of
Business Development, Sponsorship and Media at the Auckland RSA. He is an
Independent Historian and founding director of Making History Ltd.