Day to remember
RSL pays respects despite brewing storm
A RETURNED Services League boss is in the crosshairs of his colleagues for wearing military medals on the wrong side of his chest.
But Isis RSL president Roy Owen is adamant the slip does not mean he falsified his military service.
A photograph showing the 65-year-old wearing his medals on the wrong side appeared on a “military imposters” website.
The website, ANZMI (Australian and New Zealand Military Imposters), features two photos of Mr Owen at this year’s Anzac Day march in Childers and draws attention to his medals.
Mr Owen has since admitted he wore his medals on the wrong side, and said it was a mistake he and wife Jill have regretted since the day.
Mr Owen sought to defend himself by responding to a post on ANZMI’s Facebook page that linked to the website, saying he “apologised to all”.
“I did four dawn services as parade marshal, then the main parade, then attended the community service with the president (I was not the president at the time),” Mr Owen wrote under Jill Owen’s profile.
“Why did not someone bring this infringement to my attention?”
ANZMI consists of ex-military personnel from both Australia and New Zealand, and was formed in 1995 to “bring to justice” those claiming false military histories.
Mr Owen served in the Citizen Military Forces from 1966–1976 and now has to front a Queensland RSL tribunal at Maryborough next Thursday to answer the complaints.
The RSL would not provide details on the allegations.
A representative said the RSL could “neither confirm nor deny” the process Mr Owen would face, but made clear the RSL did not have any affiliation with the ANZMI website.
The representative confirmed that numerous “complaints and accusations” about Mr Owen had been received, but could not elaborate on their content.
Some Isis RSL members voiced support for Mr Owen, describing him as a “kind man” who wouldn’t want to harm the RSL.
Others were more aggressive about their feelings towards Mr Owen, but would only speak on the grounds of anonymity.
The RSL hopes to resolve the matter at Thursday’s tribunal hearing.
More in next week’s Isis Town & Country.