Deacon

Date of Entry: 15/06/2017
Surname: Deacon
Christian Names: Graham Neville
Country: Australia
State or Province: Tasmania
City or Town: Penguin
Service #: R64441
Service: Royal Australian Navy
Branch: Sick Berth Attendant
Commencement of service: 1965
Completion of service: Unknown
Case Notes:

 

 

Graham Neville Deacon joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1965 as a Sick Berth Attendant, or a Navy Medical Sailor, in modern terminology. Deacon had a number of sea postings on HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Sydney.

For his service, Deacon was awarded the following official medals:

  1. Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75.
  2. Vietnam Logistic Support Medal
  3. Australian Service Medal 1945-75
  4. Australian Defence Medal

After leaving the Navy, Deacon returned to his hometown of Penguin, Tasmania, where he continued to serve his community through membership of various organisations. Deacon is also the President of the Penguin RSL Sub Branch.

Deacon 1

 

The above photograph was taken in 2012, the same year Deacon was elected as a Tasmania RSL State Executive Member. Here he can be seen wearing six medals, the last two being:

  • Australian Logistic Support Forces Commemorative
  • Far East Strategic Reserve Commemorative.

Both medals are, in reality, nothing more than tin junk, trinkets purchased from an ex-service organisation, but they certainly seem, to the unknowing, to add a little more importance to a medal rack.

Deacon was appropriately recognised for his service by the award of official medals for his service, why add on a couple more!

One would assume that RSL Sub Branches, and indeed, State RSL Headquarters across Australia, would have a well published protocol regarding the correct wearing of medals, particularly, in regard to State awards and commemorative medals. A search of respective State RSL websites provides almost no guidance.

Given the number of RSL executives that adorn the ANZMI pages, it is clear, that medal protocol is of not much importance, nor the respect that should be accorded to official honours and awards.

Deacon has been photographed several times since 2012, at ceremonies where he has represented his position as a member of the Tasmania RSL State Executive, or in his position as the President of the Penguin RSL Sub Branch.

Deacon 2

The above photograph was taken in 2016. The presentation of the Ted Howe OAM ANZAC Trophy, to the best Penguin footballer, was taking place. Mr Howe, a decorated WWII veteran, and 98 years of age, presented the trophy on that day.

That Deacon would be parading with his ‘tin’ medals on that day simply shows the disrespect he has for, not only Mr Howe, but towards all veterans.

Deacon currently holds the RSL State Executive position of, Vice President North West Division. In holding both his State and Sub Branch positions, deacon is subject to Tasmania RSL By-Laws.

By-Law 20: Code of Conduct – Elected Representatives

Of note:

  1. An elected representative of the State Branch or a Sub Branch must act honestly, in good faith and in the best interests of the League as a whole;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           and:
  1. An elected representative should not engage in conduct likely to bring discredit upon the League.

Tasmania RSL State Executive needs to take action over this continuing disregard for our official medals system. Deacon should seriously evaluate his integrity to hold such positions.

Each time an elected representative of the RSL appears on these pages, it adds a little more tarnish to the good works of the League, along with a little more doubt as to the relevance of the organisation. Younger veterans can only wonder why RSL Executives are conducting themselves like some ‘Dad’s Army’, when it comes to the wearing of medals.

Graham Neville Deacon, RSL Executive member and medal cheat. Time and time again, different name but same circumstances, and respective RSL State Headquarters sitting on their hands and doing nothing, except perhaps polishing their pretty pieces of tin!

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