Former New Zealand Māori captain Buck Shelford is throwing his support behind the annual Returned and Services Association (RSA) Poppy Appeal that kicks off this week. Buck comes from a legacy of military service and says we should never forget the sacrifice of those who fought to defend our country.
From a family of four generations who have served in the military service, this is familiar territory for Buck Shelford.
“We go right back to my tupuna who first came from England, I think in 1858-59, and he fought in the Māori wars, he was fighting for the English obviously, so he was in the Taranaki wars and the Waikato wars as well. My dad was in the second war, he was in J-Force,” says Buck Shelford from Te Arawa.
This is a replica of the navy ship HMNZS Otago that Buck sailed as a gunner for eleven and a half years. His son Eli also served in the navy as a chef.
Buck says remembering those who have served in the military service is important, and especially the Māori land Wars.
“It's part of our history. We should be teaching our history. We're an older country now, we are over 200 years old.”