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Our Team

Meet The Team

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JOHN PURCELL QSM JP

PRESIDENT

"My military history is perhaps not as uneventful as I would have liked it to have been, nor were the years of service within the Prison system or the many Govt. Departments I served in spanning almost 6 decades.

What it did do though, was prepare me with the patience and skill sets for providing the ultimate service to our members, the health and welfare of our veterans ensuring they enjoy a quality of life deserving of their service to our country has been one of the most significant personal rewards during my time in office. 

Seeing the Club grow, modernise and prepare itself for a new generation of membership has been as equally joyous. Napier RSA is the oldest trading RSA Club in New Zealand, a history and a tradition that we are eternally grateful for and extremely proud of."

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BRIAN STRONG

VICE-PRESIDENT

"I have been a member of the Napier RSA for over 20 years and, during that time, I have been heavily involved with Adjuncts, Sponsorship, Linedancing, Raffles and the Executive Committee. Presently I hold the position of Vice-President and was honoured to receive a life membership in 2019.

My wife Sharon and I introduced Line Dancing to the Napier RSA prior to either of us becoming members and have brought overseas artists into the club on several occasions. Linedancing is still a big part of our family life.

We ran a Scrapmetal and Importing business in Napier for over 30 years - I retired and my son took over - he now keeps me busier than I was before! My family and I have also been very active in Speedway as a competitor, official and promoter. Now it is my son, son-in-law and grandson who are the competitors."

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ANNE WOOLRICH

CEO

"After retiring from a 30 year banking career I joined the work force at the Napier RSA in July 2010 as a part time meet & greet person on the front counter. A role I relished, meeting all our members and visitors. Before long that all changed when they realised I had a few clues and moved me sideways into admin and then up the stairs!

I am partner to Graeme, mum to 3 sons and Nannie to 9 local grandies, lots of fun when they come to visit be it home or at the RSA.

My interests include reading, gardening, fishing, travel and needless to say spending time with family.

My work, I love being a numbers girl, the role is right up my alley.

I do look forward to coming downstairs on pension days and hosting the pension day raffles!"

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ALAN LAWTON

COMMITTEE

"I am an ex SSgt with the RNZAC (Armoured corps and Senior Constable Instructor, with the NZPolice). I joined this RSA in the mid to late 1990’s then in 2002 I moved to the central Nth Island to Turangi. My RSA membership continued with the Turangi RSA, I was on the Executive for 10 years, 5 of those years as the Vice President I was also elected to the District Executive three years prior to moving to Australia in 2014. I was asked in 2016 to be a Veteran Support Advisor here at Napier RSA. I was seconded onto the Napier RSA Executive and for last 3 years the membership have elected me to the Executive.

My current duties are Veteran Support, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee and train the staff and executive in Gaming harm minimisation and Governance. I received a Napier RSA certificate of merit and a RNZRSA merit badge in 2019. I will continue to assist ex servicemen and women the RSA members and their families."

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CHRIS WHITTINGTON

COMMITTEE

"I came to Napier with my family around twenty years ago from England.  I had a period away from Napier whilst teaching in Auckland.  I have been a member of RSA for around 4 years, originally at Glen Eden, Auckland, and latterly at Napier.    A chartered engineer, Chartered Marketer, educator, and researcher with many years of experience in engineering management, marketing, and product management positions prior to joining academia at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in 2010.  More recently I held positions of Senior Lecturer and Director of Teaching and Learning at AUT.  I took the opportunity of early retirement from those positions in January 2021 and returned to live in Napier where I have been a Justice of the Peace since 2018, a marriage celebrant since 2020, and am currently engaged in volunteer work for the Citizens Advice bureau and at Ruahapia Marae. "

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BEVERLY RUSSELL

COMMITTEE

From a few pots and pans 30 years ago Bev Russell established the start of the Napier RSA Restaurant in the now upstairs office area of the Club. Over the years the Restaurant developed under the hardworking and dutiful loving care from Bev, building food sales from a few hundred dollars each week to a record $2.4 million per year and in excess of 30 staff just prior to retirement. Retiring in 2017 did not signal any rest for Bev. With a lifetime of interest in ‘her oldies’ as she fondly referred to our senior members, Bev undertook the role as a Welfare Officer on behalf of the Napier RSA with Hospital, Rest Home and Residential visits. With every visit Bev would drop off a packet of biscuits or some lollies but most important she would share time and company to those that were alone or in between family visits. Bev is a Life Member of the Napier RSA and is as dedicated today in her involvement with the Club and its members as she was at the beginning of her career at the Club in 1992.

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KEN LYNCH

COMMITTEE

"I am a retired Secondary School Teacher and have taught in 5 communities where I have served with golf, rugby, harness racing club, Board of Trustees and Whakatane Community Board (3 times elected).  As well, I have been an active rugby, volleyball and hockey coach.

I work part time driving buses and serving the RSA. Having served a number of years on the Executive, I am responsible for the Sports Council, Rules & Discipline as Chair and have been part of most other functions of the Committee. 

My passion for RSA work comes from having two Grandfathers return from WW1, my father from WW2, a son recently retired from the Army and my 20+ years of NZ Cadet Force service.

My interest is in services to surviving armed forces personnel who can often be forgotten as needing assistance."

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NEIL CADDIE

COMMITTEE

"I am a past serving member of the New Zealand Defence Force joining the RNZN directly from Napier Boys High School as a Seaman Boy in 1962.  My employment history since my service discharge relates solely to New Zealand Government Departments. I retired in 2006, returned to Napier, joined the Napier RSA and have been active member ever since.  I am a member of the Napier RSA Poppy  Trust Fund, a former executive and member of Hawkes Bay Naval Association.  I am also a team member of the Napier RSA Veterans Support Group.  Our members are culturally diverse and come from wide social backgrounds. I am confident of being able to add value to the Executive Committee."

 

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CRAIG WILLIAMS

CONSULTANT

"We will be here a couple of years, maximum of 5" I assured my wife almost 25 years ago.

After a short and uneventful stint in the Army, I spent a good part of my working life owning and running businesses. Six years in hospitality is certainly a positive precursor to managing the Napier RSA.

Being part of the Management Team at the RSA spoils you for life, no two days are the same and there is always a fresh crisis to make you feel challenged.

Over the years, Clubs (those that do better than just survive) have evolved unprecedentedly, and we live in an almost space age of technology that assists us in better preparing and actioning a great Club experience for our members, their guests and affiliated members.

Over the years the Napier RSA has been fortunate by investing heavily in and on our premises making it one of the 10 best clubs in New Zealand, something as a member and a part of the Management Team that I am extremely proud of."

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TRACY GEMPTON

OPERATIONS MANAGER

"Having always been customer orientated, from my days a Vet Nurse to employment in retail & hospitality, I have warmed to my role within the Napier RSA.

I am married to Tony and have one son.  I enjoy reading, gardening, breeding and showing pedigree dogs around the country.

The Napier RSA is owned by the members, what we do on a daily basis is to benefit our members. I believe that we offer a wide range of activities. I enjoy planning special events for them.

We have a small-dedicated team of staff. Most have been here for many years and are part of our RSA family.

If you do decide to join this club, I look forward to meeting you. My door is always open."

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KATHERINE DUNSTALL

COMMITTEE

"Throughout my life I have had strong values of community service and helping those in need instilled in me.  I have a strong interest in helping different people from all walks of life.  I have watched my parents connect with the community across various different roles, and as I have grown within our family business.  Before becoming a member of the Napier RSA Executive in 2021, I was involved with other organisations including Rotary, where I completed a very difficult presidential

year and the NZ Embalmers Association where I was an 
Executive Member and Secretary for a number of years.  I have been heavily involved the the ANZAC /

Armistice Day Commemorations as part of my Events

 Co-ordinator role."

"GREAT PLACE, JUST VISITING AND STAFF WERE AMAZING, GREAT SERVICE, FOOD WAS REALLY GOOD TOO.

NEENEE GO

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