D-Day for Isis RSL’s Owen

Isis Town and Country - - News - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

THE fu­ture of Isis RSL Sub Branch could fi­nally be de­cided later to­day.

RSL (Queens­land Branch) con­firmed cur­rent pres­i­dent Roy Owen’s penalty hear­ing would be held to­day after he faced the tri­bunal at Mary­bor­ough RSL on Novem­ber 20.

Mr Owen faces penal­ties for eight com­plaints, four of which are for wear­ing ser­vice medals on the wrong side of his chest on Anzac Day this year.

The medals is­sue is the big­gest, with Mr Owen’s Anzac Day “mis­take” land­ing the for­mer Roma RSL mem­ber in the Aus­tralian and New Zealand Mil­i­tary Im­posters group’s crosshairs.

They branded Mr Owen a “medals cheat” for the Anzac Day in­ci­dent, where he wore late fa­ther Des­mond’s medals on the left side in­stead of the right as re­quired by State By-Law 14.8. The medals of de­ceased fam­ily mem­bers must be worn on the right. Mr Owen de­nied he was a “medals cheat”, but ad­mit­ted he wore them on the wrong side.

Mr Owen’s wife Jill pro­vided a state­ment to the RSL Tri­bunal ex­plain­ing she pre­pared his jacket on the night of April 24 and pinned the medals on the wrong side.

A fam­ily friend, who was at the house at the time, also sub­mit­ted a statu­tory dec­la­ra­tion to back up Mrs Owen’s de­fence.

Mrs Owen main­tains it was “her mis­take that landed Roy in trou­ble”, and said she had strug­gled to deal with the fall­out.

The other four com­plaints re­late to “ad­min­is­tra­tive” is­sues, but the de­tails have not been made pub­lic.

De­pend­ing on the out­come of the penalty hear­ing, Mr Owen could face a pun­ish­ment as se­vere as be­ing per­ma­nently ex­pelled from the RSL.

He will have 28 days to lodge an ap­peal to the Na­tional RSL Tri­bunal, with RSL (Queens­land Branch) Tri­bunal’s judg­ment stayed un­til the na­tional body de­ter­mines its out­come.

MORE in next week’s Town & Coun­try.

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