Wednesday, 14 April 2010

RSL refuses to sing Royal Anthem

The Australian Returned Services League (RSL) has decided to remove Australia's Royal Anthem God Save the Queen from Melbourne's ANZAC Day dawn service.

The RSL claims the decision to drop God Save the Queen from the ANZAC Day dawn service was made "after widespread consultation". Whom did they ask? The editors of The Age?

The ABC quoted Major-General David McLachlan AO: "The question often comes up why do you have 'God Save the Queen'? It's not relevant and nobody knows it. So we've taken that into consideration." It seems, even Major-General McLachlan does not know that God save the Queen is Australia's Royal Anthem and therefore relevant.

Doesn't he realise that it is still the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)?
The Australian Monarchist League's National Chairman Philip Benwell sent the following letter to Major-General David McLachlan AO

13 April 2010

Major-General David McLachlan AO
State President
Victorian Branch of the RSL
4 Collins Street
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000

Dear Major-General McLachlan,

The Australian Monarchist League wishes to register its formal protest at the removal of the singing of 'God Save The Queen', whether as the Royal Anthem or the Royal Hymn, from the Anzac Day Dawn Service in Melbourne.

You say that “the decision was made based on feedback from veterans and young people alike” (ABC News 13/4/10). The Australian Monarchist League has a membership representative of both young and older Australians many of whom are patriotic attendees at the Dawn Service and yet not one has advised that their comments were solicited. Surely when making a ruling of this magnitude, the wishes of servicemen and the families of those whose memories we commemorate should have precedence.

We presume that, if a survey was done, it was amongst the crowds that attend. I would point out to you in no uncertain terms that the Dawn Service is not some sort of sideshow to be 'tweaked' so as to provide a better entertainment. It is a solemn memorial to those who fought for their country. As one old digger said to me today, the Royal hymn is to him, a fitting conclusion to a sad but memorable occasion.

The singing of the Royal Hymn has nothing to do with the debate on a republic and it is totally wrong for anyone to be swayed by prejudices in this regard. The last occasion on which the opinion of the Australian people was sought was in 1999, at which time the people resoundingly rejected a republic.

The Queen is Queen of Australia by Act of the Australian Parliament and now confirmed by a vote of the Australian people. She is our head of state and the personification of the state. It is to the Queen that all servicemen swear allegiance and it is therefore highly appropriate that 'God Save The Queen' be sung on such a meaningful occasion.

We therefore request that you restore the singing of 'God Save The Queen' at Dawn Services now and in the future.

Yours sincerely,

Philip Benwell
National Chairman

International Protest
Protests arose in Canada and New Zealand as well. Robert Finch of The Monarchist League of Canada called the RSL's decision "a foolish example of creeping republicanism".

I think it's disrespectful to the Queen, it's disrespectful to the war veterans and the general public,” said Noel Cox of The Monarchist League of New Zealand.

1 comment:

Nuno Castelo-Branco said...

Well, I can see that crrokstyle Thaksin's are everywhere. Even at Australias armed forces?! Incredible...