The Royal New Zealand Artillery
2nd February 2017
Greetings fellow Gunners, family and friends. As the Colonel Commandant of the Royal Regiment of
New Zealand Artillery, I very much regret that I am not able to join you to commemorate the life of Staff
Sergeant Alan Bloemendal. I am very pleased that Chris Powell, who also knew Alan well, has agreed to
pass on a few words for me.
I think I have known Alan since his very early days in the Band. He was certainly a very involved NCO
during my period on the Association committee.
Alan epitomises the things that make the Band of the Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery what it
is. It is around words like service, loyalty, dedication, enthusiasm and team work. Alan was all of those
and more – he was a good fun, wry smiling, sometimes irascible Bandsman and NCO. He always had the
good of the Band at the front of his mind.
Alan was promoted quite quickly, early on, and took up the reins as our Quartermaster. From this role, I
can add the words patient, protective and parsimonious to our descriptions of Alan, and this is exactly
what the Band needed in its Quartermaster. And he worked in the role for many years with great
dedication and organisation. Only on two occasions have I tried to borrow gear from Alan. One item I got
easily as it was in store, but not in use. The other, a current item, I ended up having to borrow from the
Battalion. So much for rank.
I also need to mention Alan’s work as the Band severed itself from the military and became stand alone a
few years ago now. This work was mostly behind the scenes or in the store – it was about keeping what
we had and getting more as the availability of Defence stores disappeared. With a lot of work and help
from others Alan mastered this process and did the Band pretty well - parsimoniously though.
You will all know Alan has been ill for some time. It is a measure of the man that he barely missed a
turnout for the Band through all his illness. In particular he was the go-to man for the Last Post and he did
this task with great dedication and professionalism. I am sorry I will not hear Alan’s Last Post.
For Jessica, I am sorry I cannot be here today. You have been a mighty rock for Alan for some years. I am
very sorry he has gone, but thankful he had your support over that time.
Finally, on behalf of the Royal Regiment, Alan, thank you for your service, friendship and support. You
have gone too early. The Band and the RNZA are better places as a result of your contribution.
The Regiment was lucky to have you with us.
For Jessica, his family and friends, please accept the deepest sympathy from his Gunner colleagues and
our sadness at his passing.
Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery