The three New Zealand Defence Force personnel who were repatriated from Fiji have arrived in New Zealand.

They arrived in New Zealand in a Hercules aircraft yesterday. George Beban died of natural causes 62 years ago while serving in Fiji. Ralph Scott died of natural causes 58 years ago while serving in Fiji. Russell Moore died in an accident on board survey vessel HMNZS Lachlan in American Samoa 62 years ago.

Yesterday was an emotional reunion for family members who never believed they’d ever be offered the opportunity to bring their loved one home.

Russ Beban, just five years old when his father George died, said it was one of the best days of his life and “beyond his wildest dreams.”

George Beban will be re-buried in his hometown of Waikanae following a service on Saturday.

Colleen Walker, who still remembers being nine years old on stage at her primary school assembly when she found out her brother Russell had died, said having him home brings closure.


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