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Organising Team:
Chairman: Bill McDonald
Sec/Treas: Roly Rolston
Brigadier Ian Thorpe
Mrs Pat Thorpe
Kei Merito
Henry Macown
Henare Morehu
Tony Fraser

Mailing Address
The Organising Committee
1 RNZIR (Originals) Reunion
c/- Rotorua RSA (Inc)
PO Box 1037
New Zealand
Landline Phone:
07 348 1055 Ext 1, ask for Rolly.
Cell Phone:
027 3222 518, Rolly Rolston.

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Mounting Medals

Details on website,

Newsletter - July 2009


Tena Koutu and greetings to the 'Originals' of 1 RNZIR, the 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment. The following information is in preparation for the reunion to be held in Rotorua on 12, 13, and 14 March 2010.

The organising committee for the Rotorua reunion is preparing an event which will be a fitting celebration of our grand battalion and, for those who have not been to our city lately, an opportunity to see how splendidly it has developed in recent years.


We have received preliminary registration and fees from a number of old soldiers and family members but, since our planning for the programme is based on attendance by 300, we need now to encourage formal commitment from those who have yet to respond.

Click this link to download the paper-based registration form

The folk we hope to see at the reunion are all of those who served in a battalion under Bob Gurr, whether in NZ when the unit was one of the battalions of the NZ Regiment or, who served in Bob's battalion under its several names in Malaya/Malaysia during 1964 and 1965.

Our Roll of Honour, so well kept by Vic Johnson, may not include some names from the earliest days and may include the names of some comrades who have since passed on. If you receive a copy of this newsletter addressed to someone who is in this situation, please understand the reason and inform us so that records can be corrected.

Apart from the soldiers of the Gurr battalions we hope to see the surviving wives and partners of those who have departed and, of course, those close family members of all veterans whom you wish to include on your registration forms.

If, on receiving this newsletter, you know of widows and surviving partners of soldiers now decreased, we urge that you contact them, see that they have up-to-date information of the reunion and, where possible advise and help them with registration and travel. Many may want to come but could be deterred by a lack of companionship.

If they have not received this newsletter please send our Secretary their address so that we can retain them in the battalion family. When we have collected the best possible list we will send them a separate letter of invitation.

Welcome to Rotorua

Welcome to Rotorua: You will find the Rotorua of 2010 an exciting place with many outlets for fun, entertainment and recreation. We have already filled much of your weekend with organised activity but there are additional options available to you on the Saturday afternoon.

With this Newsletter you will find two blank forms. One is the Registration Form which Rolly Rolston at the Rotorua RSA will handle.

The second is the Accomodation and Activities Booking Form which will be co-ordinated for us by "The Organiser", an agency of the District Council whose representative, Nadine Pieper, will, if you wish, make the appropriate reservations for you.

Both completed forms will, in the first instance be mailed to Rolly. However payments must be made in two parts. Firstly, Registration payments must be addressed to the "1 RNZIR (Originals) Reunion 2010" Account. Remember to subtract any prepaid deposits.

Whilst in the case of reservations, assuming you have used Nadine's services, these payments must be made out to the "The Organiser".

Nadine's contact details are included at the bottom of the Booking Form which includes a number of examples of Rotorua's special attractions.


There is a wide range of accommodation options in Rotorua but we recommend the Millennium Hotel which is conveniently located in the central city, quite close to the RSA, to the Polynesian Spa [100 metres] and the award- winning Rotorua Museum [300 metres].

Click the link to download the paper-based Accomodation/Activities Form.

We have arranged a special rate at the Millennium and can assure you that, for value and pleasant hospitality, it cannot be surpassed. If you wish Nadine will make your accommodation bookings there or elsewhere.

For less expensive and conveniently located accommodation the RSA recommends the Ambassador Motel.


We will arrange a shuttle bus service throughout the weekend. Apart from this we will arrange to meet your flight or bus depot arrival and transport you to and from your accommodation---advice of your requirements will, of course, be needed.

Formal Activities

As you will see on the reunion website activities programme we have two formal activities. The first is the dinner on the Saturday evening which will be preceded by company (and other) photographs in the city convention centre which is adjacent to the RSA.

The dress for this requires jackets and ties for men and whatever the ladies consider suitable. The ceremonial parade and service on the Sunday morning is to be held at the Muruika Urupa at Ohinemutu. For this event men should wear jackets, ties and medals. This ceremonial event does not involve a march of any distance (perhaps 200 metres) but it takes place at a site of great significance to the people of Te Arawa.

Optional Sightseeing Activities

Click on a link below for more information and to make a booking.

Te Puia [NZ Maori Arts and Crafts Institute]

The Rotorua Lake Trip

The morning of Saturday involves an organised trip on the paddle vessel "Lakeland Queen" which will take us on the water for a pleasant and informative journey. Our host will be Mr. Don Stafford---historian, author, artist and linguist whose knowledge of the early days of habitation here is unequalled.


It is not our intention to offer memorabilia at the Rotorua reunion except of course for the Saturday evening photographs. If, however, an opportunity should arise for a DVD type record of the weekend, this may be arranged.

All will be aware that Bob Gurr wrote and published a book of our activities in Malaysia. This book is long out of print but a proposal is in hand to have a reprint version (with perhaps some recent date photography) ready for sale at the reunion. We earnestly hope that this idea becomes reality.


The registration fee of $100.00 has been set so that only the additional and optional activities will drain your purse further. All meals apart from Saturday's lunch are included in this fee.

From the Organising Committee

The organising committee is available to help you with any questions. Please contact any of the members for advice or assistance.

From the Webmaster

You are our best 'salesperson', please let us know. Click the following link to see the Reunion website with information to help you to inform others via the internet.

There is means for Reunion online registration via internet at this site.

Email a message
See the Reunion website