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A conference of returned soldiers is to be held hi Wellington at the end of this week with the object of forming a New Zealand Returned Soldiers' Association, and of considering various matters of interest to men back from the war.

A statement concerning the proposed conference was made to a reporter by Captain Donald Simson recently. "As the result of many meetings of returned soldiers, held over a period of several months in various towns, and the forming temporarily of various associations," he said, "I have called together a conference, to be held on Friday and Saturday of this week, of delegates representing the various centres, The representation will be on the basis of three delegates from the four cities of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin, two from towns .like Invercargill, Palmerston, and Wanganui, and one from towns like Masterton and Ashburton. The delegates will discuss the formation of a New Zealand Returned Soldiers' association, with branches 'in all towns where the numbers of men seem to justify the formation of them. An association has been formed in Australia on these lines, and I have been in communication with the Australian body. In correspondence with me they have suggested some measure of reciprocity, which may continue the fellowship existing between members of the two forces at the front.

"The delegates will also discuss the formation of returned soldiers' clubs, and the running of them, and the establishment of informtaion bureaux. It is my idea that in every centre, the association, the club, and the bureau ought all to be in the same building, and I suggest that they might be in permanent buildings erected to commemorate Anzac Day or some other event of the war. This information bureau would be a record of all the men who have come back, now about 5000. The records will serve as a guide in the settlement of all grievances that may arise, and it will probably be found that the grievances of the 5000 men we have here will be typical of those of the much larger number still to come. For this and other reasons the information bureau should be valuable.

"Another point to be considered will be that of issuing a universal badge to all returned soldiers. Every man's badge will bear on it the owners regimental number, and the district from which he comes. In every other respect the badges will be exactly similar. I am going to suggest a metal badge, circular in design, say the size of half-a-crown, to be worn on the right breast. "The ideas which I have outlined regarding the formation of the association and clubs for the welfare of returned soldiers, 1 have communicated to His Excellency the Governor, and he has been so good as to express approval of them. The scheme is under His Excellency's patronage and it is approved and supported by the Minister of 'Defence, the Chief Justice, the Mayor of Wellington, and other prominent citizens of Mew Zealand.

"The Government wil be asked to grant free passes to delegates to the conference, and if the Government does not grant the request the various patriotic societies 'will be asked to help."

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Bibliographic details

RETURNED SOLDIERS., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3540, 28 April 1916

Word Count

RETURNED SOLDIERS. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3540, 28 April 1916

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