|Subject: NZPA: Slain soldier's parents set
up trust fund for East Timor
Friday, 18-January 2002
Slain soldier's parents set up trust fund for East Timor
Hamilton: The parents of slain New Zealand soldier Leonard Manning have set up a trust fund in his memory to benefit children in East Timor.
Private Manning, of Putaruru, died after he was shot during a skirmish with pro-Indonesian militia in a border area near Suai in July 2000.
His parents, Linda and Charlie Manning, and sister, Laura Rees, visited East Timor last month, travelling to camps where Pte Manning had been based, and the area where he was killed.
Mrs Manning said the children of East Timor made a deep impression, because they were so poor but always seemed to be smiling.
"They have nothing. When the UN pulls out, they are going to need our support even more."
The Mannings set up the East Timor Pools and Schools Fund soon after returning. South Waikato mayor Gordon Blake, Putaruru police Sergeant Murray Hamilton and businessman Brian Grey are the trustees.
"We wanted to turn something so devastating around, and make it positive."
A New Zealand company has donated two pools, one of which will be built at a recreation centre near Dili, and the second auctioned to raise money for the fund.
The fund will also support a factory set up by soldiers in Suai, where East Timorese are being taught to build furniture.
The Mannings will return to the territory in May, with an invitation from the United Nations to join East Timor's independence celebrations.
Donations to the fund can be made at any branch of the BNZ. - NZPA
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