The invasion of Kapiti during the Second World War was, fortunately for the locals, a friendly one. Enduring relationships between Kapiti residents and the US Marines are marked by memorials and annual ceremonies.
At the next Kapiti Historical Society Meeting on Tuesday 23 October, former Marines Major Larry Keim will be the speaker. He will be talking on a subject dear to his heart: the impact of the US Marines presence in the Kapiti area during 1942 and 1943.
About 15,000 American Marines passed through Camps Russell, Mackay and Paekakariki over a period of about 18 months. The beaches north of Paekakariki and the foothills of the Tararuas served as excellent training grounds for the battles in the Pacific Islands which lay ahead.
Larry Keim was born in Sacramento, California. He is a 67 year old retired U.S. Marines Major, who worked for the NZ Government for 10 years and has lived in New Zealand for past 13 years. He had a distinguished record with the Marines and served in many parts of the world from Vietnam to Somalia.
He is ideally qualified to speak on the importance of the Marines presence in Kapiti's history as he is currently Chairman of the New Zealand American Association and a member of the Kapiti United States Marines Trust.
The meeting on Tuesday October 23 starts at 7.30pm in the Kapiti Uniting Church, 10 Weka Road, Raumati Beach. Gold coin koha.