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Returned and Services Association HQ rebuilt in Christchurch

As the centenary of the Gallipoli landings on Anzac Day approaches, New Zealand’s Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae has opened the new Returned and Services Association building.

“It’s a real pleasure to be here today for the opening of a new building for New Zealand’s oldest RSA,” said Sir Mateparae. “I appreciate how distressing it must have been to lose your previous building after the earthquakes – and so I’m pleased to be able to follow in Lord Jellicoe’s footsteps and help you celebrate today.”

“It’s highly symbolic that this opening should be so close to the centenary of the Gallipoli landings – given that it was wounded veterans from that campaign who were instrumental in getting the RSA up and running, here in Christchurch and around New Zealand.”

The original clubrooms were severely damaged during the earthquake on February 22, 2011, making them unsafe for use. The new clubrooms sit on the original site on Armagh Street.

The Christchurch Memorial Returned and Services Association was formed on December 22, 1915 by the first wounded veterans returning home. It was originally called the Returned Soldiers Club and was the first and oldest RSA in New Zealand.

The new building was designed by Warren and Mahoney and comes at a cost of $6.5million. It has 11 steel-bladed columns in front of a plaza symbolising the Armistice Day agreement signed at the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month that signified the end of WWI. The Trenches Restaurant and Bar on the ground floor of the Memorial RSA building will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a full barista coffee service.

Functions and events are also welcome. The facilities include a 140 seat function room with bar, a 20 seat boardroom and a 70 seat seminar/training room.

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