"Bishop Vercoe was a padre in the military during difficult times," Major Gardiner said.
"He spent his time with soldiers in need of comfort and in him these men found an
understanding ear and message of hope when their families were many miles away."
Also at Padres tangi, Whakatane veteran John Bluett said about Padre Vercoe:
"Everyone knew he would go into the bush with his M16 rifle but he never had any
ammunition with him."
Gus Day from Rotorua said Bishop Vercoe was definitely one of the better padres to
serve with. "Most of the other padres would gap it in a helicopter as soon as one was
available but Bishop Vercoe always stayed in the field with his men," Mr Day said.
Wi TeTau Taepa, who also served in Vietnam with Bishop Vercoe, agreed Bishop Vercoe never left his men. "He was with us for
about eight weeks one time and used to joke it was lucky we were only covering about 1000 metres a day," Mr Taepa said.
To read his citation press here
"Kua hinga te totara i te wao nui a Tane"