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Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 54, September 2010

Over 50 years service looking after the welfare, and particularly pensions entitlements of returned servicemen and women, by Arthur Fletcher of Paeroa has been recognised with the award of the Queen's Service Medal for services the Returned Services Association and the community.

Mr Fletcher served in 27th Machine Gun Battalion during the Second World War, where incidentally he met his wife Millie, who was serving with the British Auxiliary Territorial Services in Italy. They were married in Christchurch 62 years ago.

Mr Fletcher had joined the Social Security Department and came to Paeroa in 1970 has director of the Paeroa branch of the department.

He immediately became involved with the Paeroa branch of the Returned Services Association, being one of those who steered the branch through the purchase of the Royal Mail Hotel and transformed it into a Club.

In 1976 Arthur was transferred to Invercargill, as head of the department's office. After four years there he retired in 1980 and returned to live in Paeroa.

He again became involved with the Paeroa RSA and in 1985 was awarded Life membership, NZRSA Gold Star badge in 1986 and a bar to this award in 2002. He took a keen interest in the district affairs being president of the Waikato, King Country, Bay of Plenty District from 1995 to 2004.

He devoted most of his attention in later years to returned servicemen's and women's various pension entitlements. He is currently a member of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs special pensions committee.

Mr Fletcher's community involvement included the Paeroa Drama Club (later to become The Little Theatre), member of the Lions Club of Paeroa and the Paeroa Rotary Club and long standing member of the Paeroa District Choir.

Mr Fletcher paid tribute to the tremendous support he had received from his wife: "This is as much her award as it is mine as she has shared everything I have done since we married".