Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association

The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association, often referred to as the Returned Services' Association but best known simply as the RSA, is one of the largest voluntary welfare organisations in New Zealand and one of the oldest ex-service organisations in the world.

Wounded soldiers returning from the Gallipoli Campaign founded the organisation in 1916, and it received royal patronage in 1920. The RNZRSA celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 2006, in recognition the New Zealand Government declared 2006 the 'Year of the Veteran'.

The RSA's commitment to veterans' welfare is embodied in Poppy Day when red poppies are exchanged for donations to hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders to raise funds for the welfare of all veterans and in remembrance of New Zealand's war dead. Poppy Day is usually observed on the Friday before ANZAC Day (25 April), New Zealand's national day of commemoration.

Remembrance plays a special part in the life of the RSA. A moment of silence is generally observed daily at RSAs in memory of comrades. On ANZAC Day and on other special anniversaries, RSAs play a significant part in wreath-laying ceremonies of remembrance.

As of 2011, 120,000 members support a network of 170 local RSAs throughout New Zealand. Specifically, a 'non-sectarian and non-party political' organisation, RSA membership is open to war veterans, ex-servicemen and women, their families and friends, serving members of the New Zealand Defence Force, sworn New Zealand Police officers, as well as men and women without military connections who share the ideals of the RSA movement. The badge is still one of the most familiar icons in New Zealand.

The 'local RSA' is a well-known meeting place or restaurant, increasingly becoming known as The Razza, in cities and towns throughout New Zealand.

Famous quotes containing the words association, royal, zealand and/or returned:

    ... a Christian has neither more nor less rights in our association than an atheist. When our platform becomes too narrow for people of all creeds and of no creeds, I myself cannot stand upon it.
    Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906)

    Vanessa wanted to be a ballerina. Dad had such hopes for her.... Corin was the academically brilliant one, and a fencer of Olympic standard. Everything was expected of them, and they fulfilled all expectations. But I was the one of whom nothing was expected. I remember a game the three of us played. Vanessa was the President of the United States, Corin was the British Prime Minister—and I was the royal dog.
    Lynn Redgrave (b. 1943)

    Teasing is universal. Anthropologists have found the same fundamental patterns of teasing among New Zealand aborigine children and inner-city kids on the playgrounds of Philadelphia.
    Lawrence Kutner (20th century)

    [My father] was a lazy man. It was the days of independent incomes, and if you had an independent income you didn’t work. You weren’t expected to. I strongly suspect that my father would not have been particularly good at working anyway. He left our house in Torquay every morning and went to his club. He returned, in a cab, for lunch, and in the afternoon went back to the club, played whist all afternoon, and returned to the house in time to dress for dinner.
    Agatha Christie (1891–1976)