Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Anzac Day War of Words Continues; a[euro][approximately]Attacks Are against Catholic teachingsa[euro][TM]

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Anzac Day War of Words Continues; a[euro][approximately]Attacks Are against Catholic teachingsa[euro][TM]

Article excerpt

Byline: GAIL FORRER

A WAR of words has erupted in the fallout from the main Anzac Day ceremony in Tewantin.

Public opinion is split over whether two speakers should have launched political attacks in their speeches.

Now a Catholic high school principal has added his voice to the multitudes challenging the use of Anzac Day as a platform to voice personal opinions.

Noosavilleas St Teresaas Catholic College principal Paul Creevey, who watched his high school leaders speak at the Tewantin Anzac Day ceremony, said he felt compelled to speak out after he heard comments directed towards refugees and Muslims.

He said the comments went against the teachings of the Catholic faith.

In a newsletter sent out to parents yesterday, Brother Creevey said he had formally written to the sub-branch asking it to clarify protocols around Anzac Day services, particularly whether an elected official could use his position for personal opinion, after listening to parentsa concerns and receiving email complaints.

He said the RSLas response would shape the future of his schoolas involvement in Anzac Day ceremonies.

Queensland RSL branch CEO Chris McHugh said an investigation would be made into the speeches and appropriate action taken.

But he added that the RSL was an inclusive organisation that was apolitical and non-religious.

Noosa RSL sub-branch vice-president Ian Rowe and guest speaker John Philpot both delivered comments at the Tewantin morning service that have been labelled racist, bigoted and political by many bloggers and letter writers to the Sunshine Coast Daily and Noosa News.

Others have defended the speakersa words, saying they were correct and appropriate.

Mr Rowe, a 74-year-old Vietnam veteran, was largely unapologetic yesterday.

He said he stood by his speech, but was sorry if he had hurt anyone with his comments regarding the Boston bombings.

aIf I canat say this under freedom of speech, there is something wrong with this country,a he said. …

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