Years of dedication and community involvement by a long-serving Returned and Services’ Association member were recognised in Roxburgh on Monday, but recipient Forbes Knight had no idea he was to be presented with an award.
More than 30 people attended the ceremony at the RSA clubrooms to see Mr Knight presented with a District Long Service Award to mark 40 years’ service at the Roxburgh-Millers Flat RSA.
Speaking at the presentation, RSA Otago-Southland district president Jenepher Glover-Shepherd said Mr Knight attended every local and district meeting.
“It’s people like you who are the backbone of the RSA, Forbes.
“The RSA will go forward and it’s down to people like you.”
After joining the RSA in 1977, Mr Knight went on to fill a range of positions within the club, including president for three years and secretary for 13.
He has also held the position of welfare support officer for 34 years and organised the annual Diggers Bowling Tournament for 36 years.
Mr Knight was made a life member of the Roxburgh branch in 2015 and has been awarded the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association Gold Star.
He was in the first intake for compulsory military training, and was a lance corporal in the Royal New Zealand Engineers 3rd Field Squadron from 1950 to 1960.
His involvement in the Roxburgh-Millers Flat RSA was his way of giving back to the community, he said.
“There’s a lot of good people in the local branch and the community.”
His father, who served at Gallipoli in World War 1, was also involved in the RSA, which inspired him to get involved in the organisation, Mr Knight said.
As well as being involved in the RSA, Mr Knight is a member of his local Lions club and is involved with various sports clubs.
“There’s always something going on.”