RSL 'dumbfounded' by navy's decision not to march at dawn service​

Nowra RSL members left 'gobsmacked' and 'dumbfounded' by navy move to ban dawn march


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LEST WE FORGET: Nowra RSL Sub-Branch president Fred Dawson addresses the Greenwell Point dawn service.

LEST WE FORGET: Nowra RSL Sub-Branch president Fred Dawson addresses the Greenwell Point dawn service.

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"We were all gobsmacked. We were in disbelief."

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Nowra RSL Sub-Branch president Fred Dawson said he and members had been left "dumbfounded" at navy's decision not to allow personnel to march at this year's Greenwell Point Anzac Day dawn service march.

Defence this week confirmed personnel from HMAS Albatross would not march at this year'sAnzac Day dawn march at Greenwell Point  on the NSW South Coast due to safety concerns over personnel marching in the dark.

Instead the personnel will be already formed up, waiting for the march to arrive at Anzac Park.

"To say we were dumbfounded was really an understatement," Mr Dawson said "We were all gobsmacked. We were in disbelief."

The initial article:

Mr Dawson said it was political correctness gone mad: "It's beyond a joke."

We are a navy town and we want to recognise and acknowledge our local service personnel. - Nowra RSL Sub-Branch president Fred Dawson

"We are very grateful to navy for its participation at the Nowra and Greenwell Point Anzac Day services and the many other commemorative events we stage throughout the year.

"We are, after all, a navy town. And it is nice to be able to recognise and appreciate their efforts. And having personnel march on Anzac Day is one way of doing that.

"It would be a much diminished Anzac Day if we didn't have navy. We have felt the lack of an army presence over the past few years.

"It is disappointing but it's not really my place to comment on defence protocol. But isn't the armed forces about risk?

This is political correctness gone mad. Isn't the armed forces about risk? - Nowra RSL Sub-Branch president Fred Dawson

"I assume they are just doing what they are told by some bureaucrat in Canberra.

"And if they have a problem with marching in the dark under street lights, that's their concern not ours."

Mr Dawson said the veterans would continue to march at the Greenwell Point dawn service.

"We'll have guys in the 80s and 90s marching," he said.

"We'll have St John Ambulance officers there to attend to anyone should the need arise."

South Coast Register

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