BEGA RSL SUB BRANCH

Date of Entry: 01/01/20xx
Surname: BEGA RSL SUB BRANCH
Christian Names: See below
Country: Australia
State or Province: NSW
City or Town: Bega
Service #: See Case Notes
Service: National Service
Branch: See Case Notes
Case Notes:

 

 

 

It is not often that we undertake a group exposure of medal cheats, and by indifference or otherwise, an entire RSL Sub Branch but that was before we became aware of the happenings in the NSW coastal town of Bega.  There is more on the nose than just cheese in the Bega RSL Sub Branch. 

Our attention was drawn to a photograph which appeared on the website of the Bega District News by one of our many followers.   That photograph was of Allen Collins, a former National Serviceman who likes to wear the odd bit of ‘Tin’ to enhance his rack.

Mr Collins joins the ever growing list of loyal individuals who have decided to self-award themselves a tin medal to recognise the Golden Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth 2.   We here at ANZMI have great respect for Her Majesty but that does not mean it is appropriate to wear an unofficial tin medal with your entitled awards.

As you can see, this has not stopped Mr Collins, a former National Serviceman who has added not only the Jubilee Medal, but has also added the National Service ‘tin’ for good measure.

As a former National Serviceman, Collins has an entitlement to wear two official medals, The Anniversary of National Service Medal and the Australian Defence Medal (ADM).   If you look closely, you can just see what we believe to be these medals behind the ‘tin’.  

The medals he is clearly seen wearing are nothing but tin rubbish.   The so called Jubilee Medal bears no resemblance to the official Jubilee Medal issued by Buckingham Palace.   The Government of Australia decided not to accept the issue of the medal, but rather a small number of Australians were awarded the official medal, these include Australians awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) or Cross of Valour (CV) as well as State Governors and the Governor General.

This is the ‘tin’:

This is the real deal:

Similarly, the ‘Nasho tin’ is nothing but a rubbish self-awarded trinket which should be disposed of in the rubbish bin.   Wearing that medal alongside the officially awarded medal can only mean Collins is trying to create the impression of being the ‘hardened veteran’.

Here is the ‘tin’ Nasho Medal:

Now, under most circumstances ANZMI would make contact with the RSL Sub Branch which the miscreant belongs, in the case of Mr Collins that would be the Bega RSL Sub Branch.   We at ANZMI did attempt to make contact with the Secretary of the Bega RSL Sub Branch to inform him or her of our concerns, but only silence was the reply and now we know why.

There is an old saying,‘when you scratch a sore it only makes it worse’ and so it seems with the Bega RSL Sub Branch.   During our research into Mr Collins, we sourced additional photographs of Mr Collins participating in RSL events.   We note he proudly sports an RSL tie suggesting some active participation in the Sub Branch.   In undertaking our research we came across a photograph, taken at the same event of three more Bega Sub Branch members.

Here we have Huey, Dewey and Louie (aka Bill Flood, Ken Witchard and Bob Flood).   Three more members of the Bega RSL Sub Branch, all proudly sporting their gongs, all of which contain an assortment of official medals and ‘tin’ rubbish.

Here is another photograph of Bill Flood and Witchard at different ceremony in Bega, still sporting their ‘Tin’.   It can also be seen that both gentlemen wear RSL Name tags and we believe both of these gentlemen may at some time been Committee members of the Sub Branch, perhaps explaining why our email fell on deaf ears.    We have made extensive enquires to identify the third medal being worn by Witchard and through those enquires learnt that he is the Secretary of the Naval Tankerman Association.   The medal appears to be some sort of Tin Commemorative Medal, self-awarded by Witchard simply because of vanity, rather than to signify operational service.

You can easily find the images by following the link: 

http://www.begadistrictnews.com.au/story/2687914/bega-remembrance-day-service-2014-photos/#slide=22

The time has come for the RSL at National and State level to act.

The pages of our website are littered with stories of RSL members, indeed RSL Executives and committee members who continually snub their noses at the Australian Honours and Awards System.    These same people scream loud about being proud Australians, so why do they condone those who snub their nose at our honours system.    The Honours and Awards system, both at Federal and State level recognise bravery, outstanding service, long service and operational service among others.   

One important group had been neglected for some time, but former National Servicemen who did not deploy operationally were eventually recognised with the award of the ‘Anniversary of National Service 1951 – 72 Medal’ and later established an entitlement to the ‘Australian Defence Medal’ (ADM).   Surely two official medals to recognise a person’s fulfilling of their national service obligation is sufficient recognition.   It seems not to be the case in Bega, and a number of other RSL Sub Branches around Australia who either turn a blind eye or are complicit in allowing self-awarded rubbish to be worn with official medals under any circumstance.

Here is a clue for those RSL committees who still don’t understand.   If it is not listed in the Australian Honours and Awards System, or an approved foreign award approved by the Governor General, it is NOT worn on the left side.     

Perhaps a visual reminder is needed by the National and State Executives of the RSL in order for them to do something about Sub Branches that flout the rules clearly issued by Government House.

Welcome to our website Allen Collins, Bob Flood, Bill Flood, Ken Witchard, and by association, your mates at the Bega RSL Sub Branch.

 

 

 

 

 

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