WHO ARE WE

This all started with a few ex Battalion guys sitting around having a few beers in Christchurch and reminiscing on their experiences while based in Dieppe Barracks Singapore with 1 RNZIR. This group began to meet regularly and the dream to form an association and invite others who served in Singapore during those years to join them in establishing a network to keep in touch and to keep the relationships formed in those years alive.

Some of the early membes of that group who met at the Black House Hotel in Addington, formed the first committe are names like, Ben Peters, Marty Raharuhi, Mike Miller, Steve Hawkins, Mac McDonald, Nat Tatana, Chris Christmas, Paul Taffe, Steve Purser, David Gardiner, Sam Hokianga to name a few.

As time went on the idea grew and a legal indentity was formed under the name South East Asia Asssociation, the word Veterans was added later when things started to move beyond just meeting for a few beers.

Ben Peters shared the story of its origins to the Papakura Reunion about how he was challenged by a comment from Paul Taffe South East Asian Veterans being nobodies. What he meant was that, all who served with 1 RNZIR after Vietnam untill the withdrawal from Singapore, are not recognised by anyone. This prompted Ben and others to seek out advice from some of their former senior NCO's and Officers about forming a group that would give the veterans an identity.

An association was established and a constitution was written based on the 28th Māori Battlions Association. As the offical ending of Vietnam is recored as 1971, in so far as sending Infantry Companies there, it was decided that SEAVA would cover the period 1972 -1989.

There has been a number of changes over recent years with many of the original committee moving on. The small committee in Christchurch is determined to grow the association to give a voice to those who served in Singapore and Malaya from all the services during that time. To that end, contacts are being established with former RNZAF, RNZN, NZ Force and Civillian personal and their dependents to increase the size of the association. This is being done so that as we have served our country, and are now aging, can serve those who are now in need of a variety of forms of assistance. As has been commented on one facebook page, "It is good to have a sense of belonging again."

This web site is the beginning of that drive as well as the use of facebook and other mediums to get people interested and to take a active part. It could be a great forum to develop creative ways of supporting veterans from across the spectrum especially with some of the current issues some are facing.

We would be keen to get as many members as possible to contribute to the site and news articles for our own interests but also as a political tool to help address any concerns we all have.

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