Old white man of the day

Today, let’s remember the “ordinary blokes” who served.? The fathers, uncles, cousins, sons etc. Whaleoil reader “Majic” suggested his “Uncle”, Alex Maich, and supplied the material for today. Quote:

Inscribing the full name of Alex Maich honours the person, the?community legend and icon.?A newly installed sign at a Manurewa reserve is reminding the community of the contribution?of one of its icons.

The marker bearing the words Alex Maich Park was installed at the reserve in Maich Rd after?the Manurewa Community Board recommended the park carry the full name of Major Alex?Maich.

Manukau City Council endorsed the “naming clarification” in April.?One of Mr Maich?s surviving three siblings Doreen Sorich, 87, says the family is very happy?with “the sign of community goodwill”.?”We?ve been living on Maich Rd all our life and we are very proud the Manurewa?community has got together?to honour Alex,” she says.

Major Maich was the founding principal of the Manurewa High School when it opened in?1960, a post he held until 1974.

He was also well- known for his work for the welfare of returned servicemen and widows at?the Manurewa RSA where he became honorary patron and a life member.?But his contribution to the community and his country pre-dates his time in Manurewa.?He was also a World War Two veteran and served New Zealand during times of military

Manurewa councillor and former community board chairman Daniel Newman says having a?park named after Major Maich is an “entirely justified” honour.?”Alex helped Manurewa to grow during the 1960s and 1970s, a time when the community?was developing from semi-rural to an urban neighbourhood.”? End of quote.

In a newspaper article for ANZAC day, 1999, Alex was quoted saying that he could not decide which was tougher, battling the Nazis across Europe or referring 1200 rugby matches, some of which included All Black trials.

Hansard records this from Parliament on Wednesday, April 28, 1999.??WARREN KYD (NZ National—Hunua), on behalf of?George Hawkins (NZ Labour—Manurewa):

I move, That?this House recognises the service of Major Joseph?Alexander Maich, who was in command of the Manurewa?RSA Parade for the 40th year in succession this ANZAC weekend, and further acknowledges his work in the?community as the retired foundation principal of?Manurewa High School and who has had involvement as?the Welfare Officer for the Manurewa RSA and even?though he is now in his 80s he still gives dedicated service?to the RSA and the citizens of? Manurewa.

Major Joseph Alexander (Alex) MAICH 508103 M.B.E., E.D.,?2nd NZEF 21 Battalion,?Died 23 November 2005 aged 90 years.

A man with an ethos and lifetime of service.