Christchurch Memorial RSA is a group of four legal entities all governed and managed by the Association. These entities are:

  • Christchurcrh Memorial Returned and Services Association Incorporated;
  • Christchurch RSA Trust Board (Poppy Support Trust);
  • Christchurch RSA Museum and Support Trust;
  • Christchurch RSA Holdings Ltd (trading as Trenches Restaurant Bar and Events).

The governing body of the group of entities is the Christchurch Memorial RSA Executive Committee. The members of the Executive Committee are:

  • President:                  Pete Dawson OStJ
  • Vice President:           Craig Cormack
  • Hon. Treasurer:          Robin (Nick) Nicholson
  • Minute Secretary:       Roy Dobson
  • Exec Member:            Jim Lilley
  • Exec Member:            Mike Isherwood
  • Exec Member:            Dr Peter Tillman
  • Exec Member:            Gerard Rooney
  • Exec Member:            Dennis Mardle
  • Exec Member:            Craig Ruane

The Board of Directors for Christchurch RSA Holdings Ltd are the officeholders of Christchurch Memorial RSA Inc:

  • Chairman:                  Pete Dawson OStJ
  • Director:                    Craig Cormack
  • Director:                    Robin (Nick) Nicholson

Executive Member Bio's:


Pete Dawson was conscripted into the NZ Army as a result of the National Service Ballott in 1972. Following his National Service basic and regimental training in Burnham and Waiouru he was posted to 32(E) Battery, RNZA. Following the dissolution of National Service Pete remained with 32(E) Battery and later Headquarters Battery 3 Field Regiment RNZA as a Territorial Force volunteer for 18 years fginally taking his discharge in 1990 in the rank of WO2. Pete was awarded the Efficiency Medal and the NZ Defence Service Medal with clasps National Service and Territorial.

Pete has spent a total of 55 years as a volunteer member of the Order of St John serving as a qualified ambulance paramedic and latterly maintains a governance role in St John. His service with St John has been recognised with the award off the St John Service Medal and bars totaling 50 years. He was honoured by HM Queen Elizabeth II by admission to the Order in the rank of Serving Brother St John (MStJ) and later promoted to the Rank of Officer of the Order (OStJ). He is currently the Chair of St John Banks Peninsula Area.

Pete has led a varied career including time as a Customs Officer, shipping agent and CEO and directorships of major seafood industry representative companies and association. He served a three year term appointed by the Minister of Transport as the Deputy Chair of the Maritime Safety Authority and also held a Ministerial appointment as a member of the NZ Oil Pollution Advisory Council and Chair of the Fishing Industry Safety and Health Advisory Group.

Until his retirement in 2015 Pete was the owner and Managing Director of four commercial companies speciallising in services to the fishing and shipping industries in areas of risk management and agency services.

Pete was elected Vice President of CMRSA in 2008 and took the role of President of the Association in May 2013 when his predecessor succumbed to cancer. He was re-elected as President t AGMs in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and is currently about to enter the second year of his current term as President.


Craig Ruane joined the Royal New Zealand Artillery in 1976 as a Member of 32(E) Battery.  He was promoted to Sergeant before being commissioned in 1983.  He served as a Forward Observer, Battery Captain, and Battery Commander of Headquarters Battery, 3 Field Regiment and 32(E) Battery.  In 1996 he served as a Military Observer with UNTSO in Israel and Syria and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on his return.  He held various appointments including Instructor at Tactical School in Waiouru and on the directing staff of the Canadian Joint Reserve Command and Staff College in Toronto.

In 2000 he served in East Timor as a Prosecutor with the UNTAET  Serious Crimes Unit.  He is currently a Colonel in the Stand-by Reserve and holds a senior appointment with the Directorate of Legal Services.  He is a Barrister practicing in Christchurch and has previously been a Partner in a Christchurch legal firm and a Senior Prosecutor with the Crown Solicitor’s Office.  He specialises in criminal and civil litigation.  He is the President of the Canterbury Branch of the NZ Law Society.