Veterans in country Victoria have snubbed the decision of the official Melboune Anzac Day authorities to turn their backs on tradition and dump the Royal Anthem in the Melbourne Anzac Day Dawn Service.
According to a report by Max Sinnot in The Standard, 16 April 2010, “We are with our queen, say loyal veterans” the south-west of the State is flying its monarchist colours by retaining God Save The Queen as part of the RSL's official Anzac Day program.
The report said that the decision by the Warrnambool, Hamilton and Portland branches of the Returned Services League flies in the face of the controversial decision this week by Melbourne-based RSL members to drop the British national anthem from its ceremony at the Shrine of Remembrance this year.
“It should come as no surprise,” Mr Sinnott reported, ” given the south-west overwhelmingly voted to keep Queen Elizabeth II as Australia's head-of-state back in November 1999 with close to 65 per cent of voters rejecting the republic model.”
Portland RSL president David Cleary said the royal anthem was part of Australia's wartime heritage and he would be disappointed if it was dropped. He said support for retaining the song as part of the Anzac Day service was unanimous among Portland's veterans and other RSL members.
"I'm not a fully-fledged monarchist but you cannot deny Australia's military history and its connection to the British Empire which went on to become the Commonwealth," Mr Cleary said.
“We will definitely be retaining God Save the Queen. We had a referendum about 10 years ago and the people decided to keep Queen Elizabeth as Queen of Australia and that democratic fact has to be respected,’’ Mr Cleary said.
…the lesson from the Melbourne Commonwealth Games…
The Melbourne authorities recall the attempt in 2006 to proscribe the singing of God Save The Queen when Her Majesty opened the 2006 Commonwealth Games, a ban which attracted some surprising support.
But the authorities were shown to be completely out of touch.
The pièce de résistance was the reaction of the 80,000 people at the Opening Ceremony. After singing Happy Birthday to Their Queen and the 80,000 crowd rose as one to sing the few permitted bars of God Save The Queen.
Much of this was due to the efforts of a valiant band of young monarchists who handed out flyers setting out the words of both the National and Royal Anthems outside the MCG. Not one person rejected them.
It is clear the authorities on this occasion are equally out of touch with tradition and with the people.
…God, King and Country…
“Most of the wars that Australians fought in, with the exception of Vietnam which was US-led, were under the belief of God, King and Country, from the Boer War, to World War I and II as well as Korea.”
Warrnambool RSL president John Miles said God Save the Queen would be played this year as it was at every Anzac Day service in the city.
He said veterans appreciated the royal anthem as it reflected Australia’s role in defending the Commonwealth during World War II.
“Advance Australia Fair and God Save the Queen will both be played at this year’s 11 o’clock service as they have always been,” Mr Miles said.
“Anzac Day is a time to acknowledge the sacrifice our veterans made and I think a lot of them would be very disappointed if the royal anthem was cut.”
…Sir John Monash…
Sir John Monash was not only our greatest general, but arguably, the greatest among the First World War allies. The British Prime Minister Lloyd George said Sir John was the one man who could have replaced Field Marshall Haig and have led the entire British Army, which included the armies of the dominions.
He was knighted on the battlefield by King George V, who had opened the first Australian parliament.
There can be no doubt, Sir John Monash and most of those who served under him would be appalled by the creeping republicanism demonstrated by the decision to dump the Royal Anthem.
… Australian Royal Anthem…
When the Hawke Government decided to make the then National Song, Advance Australia Fair the National Anthem, God Save The Queen was proclaimed the Australian Royal Anthem.
During most of the major wars in which Australia and New Zealand were involved, God Save The Queen was the National Anthem of all three countries.
Queen Elizabeth is Queen of Australia, Queen of New Zealand and Queen of the United Kingdom. The ANZAC countries have long been independent from the United Kingdom.
The Crowns of Australia, and the United Kingdom are legally separate one from the other.
…elites refuse to accept people’s clear decision…
A referendum in Australia in 1999 to adopt the best republican model the overwhelming majority of republican delegates chose at the 1998 Constitutional Convention was lost nationally, in all states and 72% of electorates.
Republican elites in Australia do not accept this result. Australians are entitled to assume that the politicans' republic will reflect this undemocratic theme, particularly as they refuse to reveal what they are planning both constiutionally and for a new flag.
In the meantime they resort to a series of embarrassingly stunts, and pushing their undemocratic creeping republicanism.
This involves hiding the symbols of that key check and balance on political excess, the Crown. Their deceitful plan is that if the people don't see it, they will forget it and then agree to its removal.