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RSL in W.A. bans Aboriginal flag and cultural events on Anzac Day


onetrack
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Well, the RSL bosses in W.A. have really poked a hornets nest with this one. They claim Aboriginal flag flying on Anzac Day and Aboriginal cultural events on Anzac Day are "inappropriate" and are planning to ban them.

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-21/rslwa-bans-welcome-to-country-aboriginal-flag-anzac-remembrance/11986324

 

Fair enough, I reckon. It must be about time we pushed back against small (3% of the population) self-interest groups pushing their agenda at every opportunity.

 

Anzac Day is about acknowledging the sacrifices a lot of men and women made during Wartime. We speak English as our primary language, not Pitjantjarra.

 

We fought as Australians under an Australian flag, not an Aboriginal one. We fought with Aboriginals amongst us, and they spoke English, and didn't carry out tribal cultural events as part of our War activities.

 

Good on you, W.A. RSL, I'm right behind you. The problem we currently have, is two powerful so-called, "Noongar" men in Parliament who seem to think Aboriginality and Aboriginal cultural activities need to transcend everything Australian. 

 

What's next? Another loud, and in-your-face, self-interest group preparing to hijack Anzac Day? A Gay Pride Anzac Day event? A PETA "Think of the animals who died in War!", Anzac Day event?? Give me a f***ing break!!

 

 

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The Kiwis seem to have no problem.

 

 

For many years I was a professional musician in the RAAF band. I played at many ANZAC events both here and overseas.    In ANZAC day marches many groups of Australians would carry the Australian flag as well as the flag of the country they had emigrated from before serving or subsequently arrived from.  I don't see a problem with celebrating both.

 

During my time in the RAAF we did many concerts and ceremonies for the RSL and they were always pretty conservative and not very inclusive, at the time some were not even in favour of Vietnam vets taking part.

 

I imagine most people who are bent out of shape by this are older folks.  The RSL has always had trouble attracting younger members but must do so in order to survive.

 

I travel to New Zealand twice a year as my son lives there.    I find it refreshing when I go there being  welcomed with a  "Kia ora".  although of course there are many problems between the races at least they don't seem  be  embarrassed by their indigenous culture.  I feel like we are ashamed, embarrassed and perhaps insecure but I imagine one day we will move past this.

 

 

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Always been "conservative" is understating  it. They are also Hand in Glove with "Clubs Australia" and gambling  funding their shows and BAD management (Corruption) in a few States. I Rarely go inside any now. THEY have completely LOST ME. One exception is the Geelong RSL near Belmont, just across the bridge of the Barwon River on the right. Nev

 

 

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The aborigines fought too and under our flag. Most of the wars that Aussie troos fought in were not fought under the Australian flag, but the Union Flag which is known as the Union Jack.

 

I see no problem with aborigines flying their flag or doing anything else on Anzac day. There is no law that says that the only thing you can do on Anzac is glorify war.

 

 

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There is no law that says that the only thing you can do on Anzac is glorify war.

 

 

 

 

Yenn - But right there, is the classic misunderstanding of what Anzac Day is all about. It's not about glorifying war, it's about recognising the sacrifices many men and women made in past wars, and the comradeship forged in those wars, and the understanding that wars are to be avoided if at all possible - but when they are not, it's about stepping up and doing your best under the circumstances.

 

The Union Flag makes up a part of the Australian Flag, but it is there to represent our Anglo-Saxon cultural and legal foundations. The Australian flag has been in existence since 1901, and in both WW1 and WW2, our soldiers fought under it.

 

No war has ever been fought under the Aboriginal Flag - and the Aboriginal Flag has only been in existence since 1971, as part of the push Aboriginal Land Rights claims, anyway. No Aboriginal tribe ever thought up a flag in their tribal state.

 

The problem with "Welcome to Country" is that it is a recent invention, devised with no reference to any local tribal events - and it certainly wasn't mentioned in ANY historical references.

 

Worse, it has been foisted on us by decree, by Federal Labor Govts and Labor Govts in every State - with no consultation or debate with any community, or groups of people.

 

What few people realise, is that "Welcome to Country" is an invention of two Aboriginal performers - Ernie Dingo and Richard Walley - designed to welcome a group of Maori artists to the 1976 Perth International Arts Festival.

 

It is a mish-mash of cultural beliefs, trying to merge Maori and Noongar tribal traditions - and it has no place in any traditional Aboriginal tribal ceremonies.

 

Worse, if the truth be known, that local Aboriginals were carrying out a newly-created Noongar tribal ceremony, on other Aboriginal tribes lands, there would be tribal wars!

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welcome_to_country

 

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/welcomes-to-country-are-being-foisted-on-us-in-error/news-story/82b9749840792d606ba703a4115c9772

 

For the benefit of the East Coasters, the W.A. RSL has no gambling on their premises whatsoever - and W.A. has no pokies whatsoever, apart from the Burswood Casino. 

 

 

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Yenn - But right there, is the classic misunderstanding of what Anzac Day is all about. It's not about glorifying war, it's about recognising the sacrifices many men and women made in past wars, and the comradeship forged in those wars, and the understanding that wars are to be avoided if at all possible - but when they are not, it's about stepping up and doing your best under the circumstances.

 

That's exactly right, onetrack. I've attended Anzac Day services since I was a kid and have never ever seen anyone glorifying war. Ditto for all the 2/9th. reunions I attended with my dad during my life. They got together to meet up, but most importantly, to make sure their lost mates were never forgotten. There was certainly no glorification of their experiences.

 

I think the concept of war glorification is more how individuals perceive it, rather that what the real intention of commemorative services is all about.

 

One thing I take issue with is the current tendency for some media to use the word 'celebration'. These events are commemorated, not celebrated.

 

 

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That ABC article is a long read but very interesting with a lot of viewpoints. It appears to be a state branch decision and the National RSL has said it's up to each individual state. The article also said that the National RSL and Qld. branch will continue with Indigenous representation and have no problem with it. At this stage, it looks like just the WA branch out of step with everyone else.

 

There seems to be a bit of variation in services. At our local dawn service we had a Rhodesian contingent of veterans who marched with their colours, along with all the other groups. They drove for hours in the dark to get there as ours is the closest service that will accept them.

 

 

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My use of the term glorification was possibly incorrect. I know that is not what Anzac Day stands for.

My point was that anyone can do whatever they like on Anzac Day. There is no requirement to attend the ceremonies, but there is an expectation that they are not disturbed. If someone wants to fly an aboriginal flag or even that rainbow atrocity, there is nothing to stop them, except that it would not be acceptable to join the march with one.

Personally I have never attended an Anzac Day ceremony. I do fully appreciate the value of the Anzac traditions.

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The Anzac Day services seem to be getting bigger all the time. Most noticeable in recent years is the huge numbers of young people and whole families, with mum, dad, and all the kids. And that's at dawn services which is all the more unusual compared to days gone by. Once upon a time, dawn services were attended by the die-hards, but now there's crowds of little kids, some still in their pj's.

 

Possibly that's got a bit to do with the RSL sub branches getting more inclusive over the years. The local sub branch will be the organizer, but a lot of school and community groups make up an equal part of it. After being away for a few years, I went a recent dawn service at a local town. On the drive down, I was thinking there would be a couple of hundred people, but it turned out to be around 5,000. Had to walk a kilometer or more from a parking spot. The parade had probably about 1,000 people; I guess out of that number about 150 veterans.

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I'm annoyed that in NSW, Anzac Day falls during school holidays, due to the four-term system. That means that our children don't learn about what their ancestors did. What chance have I of telling my grandson (aged 7) that his Great-great Grandfather stormed the slopes of Anzac Bay on the 25th April, 1915, or that his Great-Grandfather wrested Tobruk from the Italians in 1942? The actions of those ancestors made their descendants what they are today.

 

Anzac Day is in no way a glorification of War. Australians would never glorify such a bad thing. It is a day of remembrance for those who died, often without a clue as to exactly why they were fighting on foreign soil. It is also a day on which to be thankful for the chance it gave to bring people from diverse parts of the country together for a common purpose at a time when the character of the Nation was still in its infancy.

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Don't expect the schools to get it right OME. Tell the kids yourself.

I'm really proud of what my grandfather did in France in WW1. He was part of a group of "undisciplined" Australian soldiers who bashed up 3 pommy MP's, for a very good reason.

At school, I never heard anything true about the wars, beyond the fact that the Americans won WW2.

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You didn't need a reason to bash a pommie Red Cap, They were the scum of the militia.

I used to love assisting my mates with them, when I was in civvies and pulled rank on them, otherwise they would think all sorts of charges to hit you with.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Don't expect the schools to get it right OME. Tell the kids yourself.

 

I reckon you're right. Just recently I printed out my grandson's family tree for his to take to school. I told him about his great-grandfather who fought in WWll, and his great-great-grandfather who was a 25th April ANZAC. Luckily I have both their military service records (available on line), his great grandfathers original medals and great great grandfather's duplicates.

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According to the politically active Aborigines that might be so. Those politically active Aborigines try to make us believe that all Aborigines belong to a single Nation that covered the whole continent. If you ask Aborigines who have maintained their traditional customs, I bet you would get the answer that there are many Nations amongst the Aborigines, each with their own national boundaries and customs for travelling across those boundaries. There's no single Aboriginal language. This abundance of language reflects what also happened on all the other inhabited continents and smaller land masses.

 

The best Non-Aborigines can do is acknowledge that their ancestors acted according to the norms of their societies, but these norms have now changed.

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So what? Who was here before the present aborigines? There was someone who did the Bradshaw artwork.

Go back in history and you will find countless tribes or nations who have been taken over.

In Australia if the English had not taken over the country, it would have been the French, Dutch, Portugese or Germans probably. They all had a look and decided it wasn't worth taking over at the time. Maybe even the Chinese had a look long before us.

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WE presumed they had no say in us taking their Country

 

Don't "WE" me! I was born in the second half of the 20th Century, not the first half of the 19th. I've got a different attitude to those 19th Century colonists.

 

I acknowledge that the colonists' attitude is not now an acceptable attitude. But I'm not going to cry over spilt milk. I would be quite interested to be given an education in land use by those whose societies have come to grips with the uniqueness of this country. By the same token, shouldn't Aborigines grasp the opportunity to learn and participate in the dominant society of this continent instead of concentrating on the wrongs done to the long dead?

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Go back in history and you will find countless tribes or nations who have been taken over.

 

Very true. You don't see us running around with lime in our hair, speaking Cornovian. At some point in history, most peoples ancestors lost their culture, land and language.

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It's fairly recent Historically and like what happened to the American Indians is of some considerable consequence to their descendants still alive today as well as analysing the slave trade for the record and historical accuracy and all such significant events. History has no validity IF facts known are not corrected and become part of the TRUE story. It's up to us to correct the errors where the are found to exist. NZ and Canada have gone some distance in this area . It's not a unique concept to correct some fallacies in convenient historical narrative. What is the alternative? To just leave it out of the record and pretend it never happened.? Nev

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