News

PC insult to Anzac Day

Barry Kelly was horrified to hear the report said celebrating the Anzac centenary could harm multiculturalism in Australia.
Barry Kelly was horrified to hear the report said celebrating the Anzac centenary could harm multiculturalism in Australia. Linden Morris

ANZAC Day, a day to remember, a day to grieve, a day to appreciate and a day to give thanks.

April 25 only comes around once a year, but some are claiming even that is too much.

A report released by the Minister of Veterans' Affairs, Warren Snowdon, costing taxpayers $370,000, claimed commemorating the centenary of Anzac Day in 2015 was a "double-edged sword" and a "potential area of divisiveness" because of multiculturalism.

President of the Warwick RSL Sub Branch John Skinner was outraged to hear the findings of the report and said it was utterly offensive.

"On behalf of whole RSL, I am deeply offended by the report. I can't understand why it was ever wanted in the first place and it won't change our service," Mr Skinner said.

"I don't think the tradition of Anzac Day has ever had any multicultural problems and it is so well entrenched in the community there should never be any problems."

The report also said organisers of such events should avoid references to current military action because young people were uninterested.

"I don't agree. We have our own Australian Diggers serving there at the moment," Mr Skinner said.

"We should be supporting our Diggers not trying to hide that our boys are out there somewhere.

"If Snowden, who commissioned the report, is ashamed the boys are over there, bring the boys home," he said.

He said Anzac Day celebrations were never intended to offend, but acknowledge an enormous part of Australia's history.

"We're not here to celebrate or glorify war. It's a memorial service to those who paid the sacrifice, those who were injured, and those who had their lives changed. It's to remember those who went off to serve," Mr Skinner said.

"I can't see why people would be offended by it in any way."

WWII Veteran Barry Kelly was another local who was disgusted with Mr Snowdon's report.

"Veterans and war widows could have used that money to improve their standard of living, not to denigrate Anzac Day as 'just a party for drunk yobbos' as reported in the national news," Mr Kelly said.

"Warren Snowden should fall on his 'double-edged sword'."

Mr Kelly said on a local scale it was not only obvious Anzac Day was celebrated by all, but was done so with the true meaning of the day in mind.

"One needs only to attend the local Anzac Day services in the Southern Downs area and realise the respect and appreciation shown by young people in the region," he said.

"We are particularly passionate about the need to promote respect and appreciation of the Anzac Day tradition, to guard against this important commemoration being just another holiday.

"The government has made an overly political correct error in commencing such a report in the first place," he said.

The report consisted of 36 focus groups of eight people totalling 288 participants from all age brackets 18 and over.

Topics:  anzac day multiculturalism



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