During the Second World War public servants who had not joined the forces were urged 'do your bit – keep fit'. In Wellington a public service gymnasium was set up in an Anglican church hall in Thorndon, with separate classes for men and women. This initiative arose from the widely held view that physical fitness was essential for national defence and public morale during wartime.
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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: ACGO 8333 IA1 W2578 183 139/33
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