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Christmas cheer on the way from Mt Cook
Pupils from a central Wellington primary school have been busy helping make Christmas cheerier for New Zealand Defence Force and Police personnel deployed overseas.
The Mt Cook School pupils have helped RNZRSA and Services staff and volunteers pack 434 care packages with goodies such as Anzac biscuits, liquorice, peanut slabs, Christmas mince pies, marmite, chippies and onion dip ingredients, jaffas, chewing gum and tomato sauce. The parcels are going to 11 countries, including Afghanistan, East Timor, Antarctica, Korea, Darwin, the Solomon Islands and areas of the Middle East.
The Mt Cook pupils have also made Christmas cards for police officers this year. “Defence Force base-camp schools (Burnham. Papakura and Waiouru) make cards for Defence Force personnel,” says the RNZRSA’s project coordinator, Karen Saunders. “We thought it would be nice if Mt Cook School did the same for the police.’’
“The RSA parcels bring a small reminder of New Zealand to personnel who are not able to be with their families at Christmas,” says the commander joint forces New Zealand, Maj Gen Dave Gawn. “Our people do a great job overseas and I hope that the parcels show them we really appreciate what they are doing, not just on Christmas Day, but every day.”
The RSA tradition of sending parcels to troops overseas began during World War I. The annual project is funded by financial donations from local RSAs, the police, and navy, army and air force central welfare funds.
Cpl Jason Segal, who helped pack this year’s parcels remembers receiving one in Afghanistan: “It was fantastic seeing all the New Zealand items; I especially remember the Anzac biscuits.”
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