Day to re­mem­ber

RSL pays re­spects de­spite brew­ing storm

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

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.

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