Anzac Day long weekend angst
HE is not opposed to long weekends, but Warwick RSL’s John Skinner is opposed to a State Government move to gift Queenslanders a public holiday after Anzac Day.
The local organisation’s sub-branch deputy president warned the decision would detract from the significance of Anzac Day, shifting the focus from commemorating war service to getting away camping.
“The fact is, Anzac Day is like our national day of pride and the RSL is not pleased,” Mr Skinner said.
“I think in Warwick we will still get good numbers of people taking part and watching the parade.
“But making it a long weekend definitely distracts from the remembrance and solemness of the occasion.
“I am not opposed to people getting away for a long weekend, but I am opposed to things that detract from Anzac Day.”
The State Government announced this year that Monday, April 26 would become a public holiday, under legislation introduced in 1956.
This legislation includes a ruling when Anzac Day falls on a Sunday the following day can be sanctioned as a public holiday.
Steve Mackie from Warwick’s Veterans Support Advocacy Services Australia remains optimistic the move will result in more people watching the traditional Anzac Day parade.
“Personally I don’t believe we need another public holiday,” Mr Mackie said.
“This is more about trade unions than respecting Anzac tradition.
“But I do think locally we will still get a good response.
“Overall there has been an increase in participation and crowd numbers at Anzac Day events.”