Author Topic: Anzac Day 2013 Melbourne CBD March  (Read 2856 times)

Offline mike_k

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Anzac Day 2013 Melbourne CBD March
« on: April 27, 2013, 02:50:34 PM »
For the past 13 years, 178 193 and I have offered our services for the Melbourne march.

Very much an honour and privilege to help out, I agree with Dinty about presenting my vehicle as a tribute to those who have served.

This year, not used at all except as an afterthought.

I was not impressed when told by a Rolls Royce owner " I hope I get a third run' after waiting from 0730 until 1100 for my only task.

The treatment of the day by many of the car club members was appalling in my opinion. Still a great day out for them I guess.

I have thought about this for 2 days now, and it still really disappoints me.

I'm not just having a whinge on here, this is a copy of the letter that I have sent to the RSL Transport marshall.



"MAJ ---------
Transport  Marshall
RSL Victoria
4 Collins St
Melbourne Victoria
3000



Dear Bob,
Please find below some feedback on the 2013 Anzac day march in the CBD.

Please note that this correspondence is solely from myself, and does not represent the view of any other organization.

My comments relate to the use of vehicles in recent marches, especially the 2013 march last Thursday.

I have had the privilege over the past 13 years to offer the use of my vehicle (an ex army LWB Land rover) to the veteran community for the Anzac day march. Over the years this vehicle has been very well received by the veterans, and until recently it has fitted the theme of the march in appropriate fashion.
I always try to present it in parade condition, as a tribute to the service of the veterans.

As an ex military vehicle with a seating capacity of 10, it is well suited to the task of carrying veterans in the march – they are able to see the crowd as well as be seen by the crowd.

Over the last few years, I have observed the use of an increasing number of civilian vehicles in the march. With the increasing age of the WW2 veterans this is understandable. This year saw the use of a large number of these car club vehicles, and in most cases these vehicles were used on 2 or 3 runs in the march.



Unlike my vehicle, most of these civilian vehicles appear to be driven by people with scant respect or interest in the veterans or Anzac day. As an example, the vehicle ahead of me in the march was a pink FC holden driven by a woman in a 1950s ‘dancing’ costume. I also observed a white Cadillac complete with a taxidermy interior - deer hoof door handles, gear sticks etc. as well as two replica revolvers and chrome bull horns on the bonnet. These people appear to treat Anzac day as a car club event to ‘show off’ their cars – just another event in the car club calendar. How is this appropriate?

For some reason, my vehicle was used only once, for one Italian veteran in the ‘Allies’ contingent at the very end of the march. This was as per the schedule, with the only allocated task being an 1100 meeting time for a task at 1130. On arrival at Collins St West, with 2 accompanying WW2 jeeps I was directed by a marshall to the ‘taxi rank’ in Swanston St where we waited for any last minute transport tasks. We watched most of the march pass us by, and were lucky to pick up 3 Italian veterans (one per vehicle) at the very end of the march. It is always an honour to carry any of the veterans, but it was somewhat disappointing to be only used on this task when some of the civilian vehicles were used 3 times.

I feel that after 13 years of volunteering for the march, each year involving careful preparation and a round trip of some 200 kilometres, that my offer of assistance is now being overlooked or possibly no longer required.

If my vehicle is no longer appropriate for the march, then I am happy to accept the wishes of the veterans. If Anzac day is to become a car club ‘show and shine’ event, I suppose that is fair enough.
 If ex military vehicles are still appropriate, may I suggest that they are afforded some kind of priority?

Perhaps the military vehicles could once again be allocated 3 tasks in the march, and if there is a group of vehicles for a unit, the ex military vehicles could lead the vehicle group.

If my thoughts could be briefly considered at the debrief, this would be very much appreciated.

At this point, it is appears that military vehicle participation in the Anzac day march is under threat. If this participation is no longer required, I am happy to accept this decision, but it is disappointing after 13 years to see this outcome.


Kind regards,

Mike K."

I don't want to make waves, but some blokes have been volunteering their vehicles since 1979......

I hope that woman in her pink FC holden wearing her dancing outfit had a great time.

If this is what the veterans want, then I am more than happy to bow out. I suspect though that the car clubs currently have a bit too much influence......

A few years ago, the Melbourne march was very much like the photos posted by Glen from Brisbane. Lots of military vehicles, and much appreciated by the veterans.

I always carry a ladder and there is always plenty of willing help to carefully help the veterans in and out of the vehicle.

This year there were less than 20 military vehicles, and we were not used much at all compared to the civi car club people.

For other marches i.e Brisbane, be very careful in the future of these car clubs, I suggest.

Cheers,

Mike.

Offline Mick_Marsh

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Re: Anzac Day 2013 Melbourne CBD March
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2013, 03:19:34 PM »
I noticed there was  civvy Moke in the parade. I thought "Why?" No military heritage.
I'm not complaining about them but, I would have thought the ADF would have had a few military vehicles there. Did they?

REMLR # 310, MVCA # 364, 101 Club # 2188, MHG #101
29-417 101 GS, 30-248 101 Rapier Tractor. 30-238 101
34-597 Crump & Cornish 1 ton Cargo Trailer
RT21 RAAF Track Tactical Trailer, 234-671 RAAF Track Tactical Trailer

Offline mike_k

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Re: Anzac Day 2013 Melbourne CBD March
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2013, 03:40:31 PM »
G'Day Mick,

Apparently the Army 'Green fleet' is no longer permitted (by the Army) to participate in the march.

I'm not sure why, but suspect OH & S rears its ugly head.

They are still allowed to use the 'white fleet' buses cars etc.

So no more ADF Land Rovers any more either.

Offline zulu delta 534

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Re: Anzac Day 2013 Melbourne CBD March
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2013, 05:48:59 PM »
Mike, I feel for you at the moment as this is a trend that seems to be growing elsewhere as well.
Possibly one of the stumbling blocks that you are going to have thrown at you is the unfortunate incident that occurred a couples of years ago.
Whilst the car clubs are lobbying, and lobbying is what is important today, not ethics or any other such romantic theme, the only way to beat them is to join them in the lobbying campaign.
I can only speak on what I know and what happens here in Brisbane.
I attend all the Brisbane Anzac Day March Committee meetings and have been known to state my case every now and then.
I attend as a representative of one of the marching Units.
I am also a member of the MJCQ, the major volunteer fleet supplier up here.
The MJCQ sends a representative to all AnzacDay March committee meetings and their rep also holds a Marshalling position.

I would strongly suggest that you, as a volunteer vehicle supplier, attend these meetings and have your say (once you have felt out the circumstances). If Melbourne is at all similar to Brisbane, the committee will be made up of Veterans and I am sure that they would see your point if it is put forward succinctly.
I can also quite possibly put you in touch with a few exMilitary representatives who may be willing to go to bat for you. (How far from Wellers Hill RSL are you?) If you can get an RSL club (not a pokie palace) on your side it would help.

Most March Committees are battling to keep up with Insurance demands at the moment -(Up here the policy from the Insurance people is "One vet in the front  per vehicle and one carer if required in the rear. - This is impossible as the Vets outnumber vehicles about 5/1. As a result golf buggies are used. Most Vets would much prefer a jeep to a buggy, but beggars cannot be choosers.)- and as a result are twisting and turning simply to keep the march afloat.
Rather than make it harder for the Committee, if you get in on the inside you can help to remedy the situation, offer them some solution. Front up the VMVC or what ever the Victorian equivalent of the Military collectors club is and do some lobbying yourself FROM the INSIDE and see where you get.

It is pretty well Australia wide that the Military has had to withdraw their assistance in this matter because of litigation problems, so there is a pretty big gap to fill, transport wise, and it has to be filled, otherwise the March will turn into a Sydney type Mardis Gras.
Best of luck, and if if I can offer any other assistance on the matter, PM me.

Regards
Glen




Offline mike_k

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Re: Anzac Day 2013 Melbourne CBD March
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2013, 06:10:39 PM »
Thanks for your insight Glen,

Although the incident 2 years ago happened, it will not help going over it again.

I will say that it was a very isolated and unfortunate accident that is very out of charachter.

The same condescending Rolls Royce bloke who was hoping for his 3rd run also advised me not to talk on my phone while driving in the parade.

To say that words failed me at that point is an understatement.

I agree, I do not want to be a problem, but have offered some solutions in my letter to the RSL.

I will talk to the VMVC, and I am happy to put our point across at any of the meetings.

I'll find out when they are held, and if I can I will go along.

Thanks again for your informed opinion,

Cheers,

Mike.


Offline korg20000bc

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Re: Anzac Day 2013 Melbourne CBD March
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2013, 08:02:56 PM »
It might be interesting to find out of there are influential RSL members who are also members of the car clubs.
They might be looking for opportunities to combine the event.
Your name will also go on zee list!

Offline cookey

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Re: Anzac Day 2013 Melbourne CBD March
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2013, 08:44:04 PM »
I share your feelings.

I also noticed that Army Land Rovers participated in the Sydney march.

cookey
lost count

Offline Carzee

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Re: Anzac Day 2013 Melbourne CBD March
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2013, 09:39:37 AM »
Yes, and in Canberra (3 or 4 plus Bushmaster, ASLAV).
However I did note the commentator mentioned (as each Landy appeared dureing the march) that they were members of the Army Reserve and they had volunteered for the task.

Also, I noted the rear seats were well used and I saw one or two standing up and holding the roll over bar for the salute at the AWM.
Ben Roberts-Smith VC marched in the SASR ranks (40+ members). There was at least that many AATTV and also 20 or so Intelligence contingents.


Offline mike_k

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Re: Anzac Day 2013 Melbourne CBD March
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2013, 10:57:15 AM »
The no 'green fleet' info came directly to me on Friday from one of the march marshalls.

I didn't see any ADF Land Rovers at all on the day.

Maybe just a Victorian thing?

Anyway, I'm going to find out some details of what went on this year, and hopefully we can fix things up a bit for next year if that's what everyone wants.

Besides, lots of Perenties will be available next year as well!

Cheers,

Mike.

Offline bizzen

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Re: Anzac Day 2013 Melbourne CBD March
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2013, 05:02:49 PM »
G'Day Mike,

Prepare for a wall of text.....

I understand completely with regards to the car clubs present at the Melb march.
I have volunteered over the years as a vehicle marshall with the VMVC and can honestly say that the car clubs and their attitude towards the ANZAC day march, let alone simple laws such as not parking on tram tracks leaves a lot to be desired/improved.

I've had the "priveledge" of dealing with a president from one club who totally ignored official advice from march organisers, Melb council officers and Yarra Trams representatives by agreeing not to park on the tram tracks as they were still in service. As soon as the officials had left the area, he instructed his guys to park on the tracks.

Watching him trying to stop the Victoria Police officer writing the tickets for 3 of his guys obstructing the tram tracks later on was hilarious though. Even more so the tram driver who was threatening to plow them out of the way. It really did nothing to stem the stereotypes of the specific vehicle brand owners that day and the lack of respect shown to the march organisers was one of the reasons for me deciding to withdraw my support from the march.

In contrast, our club members from the VMVC are there for the day with the acceptance that if you offer your vehicle up for the march, you will be welcome to contribute and will generally be allocated at least one task. All members I have spoken with have said they are there for the veterans and the significance of the day, not the fact that as I heard one of the other car club members say "my car will be on the ABC broadcast that I'm recording at home on the DVR...."

Unfortunately for people such as yourself who offer the assistance each year, the VMVC has not been receiving enough entries from the club members over the past 4-5 years to be able to sustain what is usually between 200-300 taskings. This year is a good example with 20 vehicles present compared to 3 years ago with 75. As a result of the inability to accurately gauge the club attendance, the march organisers decided to allow other vehicle clubs to participate who could give a solid commitment to the march date. I know firsthand that one car club in particular offered between 50-100 vehicles last year and was apparantly very disappointed with being told that only 30 vehicles were required. The march organisers are aware of these numbers being offered by other car clubs and the VMVC not being able to provide even fairly accurate estimates and I believe that this has caused the VMVC to have unfortunately effectively removed itself from the march.

This explains why your previous year taskings have dwindled from 3 tasks to the 1 you received this year (and weren't required for at the end). I have also heard other reasons for this occuring due to the veterans mobility and difficulty in entering and exiting military vehicles (stepping into/out of Jeep, Landrovers are too high) however the set of steps I used to carry in my Landrover makes this excuse sound like a convenient throwaway comment more than genuine complaint.

My personal opinion is that unfortunately, the march organisers seem likely to increase the classic cars presence more and the green machines will all but disappear from the march.

I know that this year, the VMVC still retained the vehicle allocation taskings for the Melb march in house and the other car clubs dealt with the VMVC, who in turn dealt with ANZAC House. The rumour mill has it that the other car clubs are most interested in obtaining the vehicle allocation control tasking which I would bet will happen next year.

When this occurs, I believe it will be well and truely over for the military vehicle element of the parade which will be the end of an era for the VMVC, veterans and the general public as I am led to believe that the VMVC have been offering vehicles for use in the march since the late 70's/early 80's.

All I can offer as a suggestion is that you need to decide if you are willing to provide the assistance you have graciously done so for the last 30+ years or if perhaps the time has come to politely decline offering assistance based on your own personal circumstances. I know for me personally that having participated in the Melb ANZAC day march for 10+ years and having seen it gradually be turned into a commercial venture and made more difficult each year to contribute to, I withdrew my support for it and instead now pay my respects at the local RSL ANZAC day marches who are absolutely stoked to be offered a vehicle in parade condition for participation and display at their service.

Regards,

Ben

Offline Carzee

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Re: Anzac Day 2013 Melbourne CBD March
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2013, 06:46:33 PM »
"...having seen [Melb March] gradually be turned into a commercial venture and made more difficult each year to contribute to, I withdrew my support for it and instead now pay my respects at the local RSL ANZAC day marches who are absolutely stoked to be offered a vehicle in parade condition for participation and display at their service. "

Thats the thing, thats it right there.

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Re: Anzac Day 2013 Melbourne CBD March
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2013, 10:07:12 PM »
Mike,

Sorry to hear of your relegation behind the dancer's pink FC and the helpful comments from the RR clown.

We do things a little differently here in Perth - there is only one circuit and what we call the "hospital" cars (ie the civvy vehicles) are positioned behind the ex military vehicles, provided by the Military Section of the Veteran car Club (VCC).  No other vehicles take part in the Parade.

Both the VCC vehicles and their passengers are organised by the Military Section.  Specific allocation of passengers to vehicles is made and details provided to the ABC for their Parade broadcast/commentary. 

It is a system that has worked well for us, for many years.

If you choose to update this thread with the RSL response to your letter, I will be most interested to read it.



Jack 

Offline mike_k

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Re: Anzac Day 2013 Melbourne CBD March
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2013, 08:04:25 PM »
Thanks for the detailed reply Ben, much appreciated.

I was wondering why I hadn't seen you for the last couple of years, and that definitely explains it.

I am certainly not a VMVC insider, as I usually only go to Anzac day with them, so I have no idea of the processes or procedures that result in the Anzac day vehicle assignments. I can only speak about what I have seen over the last 13 years.

Anzac day was always very chaotic, which I had come to expect, but the last couple of years seem to  have seen a concerted push by the other car clubs to increase their involvement.

This has caused a vicious circle.

I think it goes like this.....

The WW 2 diggers in particular are needing more transport.

The other car clubs were somehow requested to provide vehicles to help with this increase in tasks. The car clubs responded very enthusiastically, but in what seems to be an out of control manner. The chance to be in a parade through the city that is televised seems to have been a powerful attraction to some of their members, unrelated to the day or the veterans. Obviously this does not apply to all of the drivers, but some of them really stand out.

As another example, another bloke that I saw this year was explaining to his mates that his car is exactly the same as the one JFK was shot in, and he was upset that Vicroads would not let him have RIPJFK as a private number plate.  ::) Obviously another appropriate vehicle for the Vets.

Arguments seem to have been advanced that it is hard for veterans to get into jeeps and Land Rovers etc.

The Military vehicles then have less tasking. Quite a bit less.

I guess that I am a good example of this - down from 3 or 4 runs in the past to 1 in 2012, and lucky to do anything in 2013.

This causes the VMVC contingent to dwindle

This causes the RSL to request more car club vehicles,

This causes the VMVC contingent to dwindle etc....

I guess that it is up to the VMVC from here, but I also think that some sort of recognition for our past involvement and commitment would be appropriate to somehow put the other vehicles 'back in their box'.

I am taking this up with the VMVC and will see what comes out of it.



Jack, thanks for your comments, the Melbourne march operated much the same as Perth until this car club thing came up in the last few years.

All I can say is - be very careful!

I have had a reply back from the RSL, (which I will not publish as it was addressed only to me) which was fairly positive.

The RSL still wants our involvement, but needs more vehicles than the VMVC can provide. I assume the loss of the regular Army vehicles has also made this worse.

They did state that the number of vehicles each club can provide will be capped, which would be a good idea. Should make for some interesting car club meetings I suspect!

So I will see what the VMVC wants to do and if something can be sorted out.

If not, I might also offer my vehicle to a local march, which would have the added benefit for me of being able to attend the Dawn service once again after a 13 year absence.

If this does happen, it would be a shame to give up the tradition, as I have always been honoured and humbled to meet the veterans in the city, and I have always felt that my contribution was appropriate and, up to this year, useful and gratefully received.

I know this is a bit about me, but it is very disappointing to see that all this political stuff has radically changed the face of the Anzac day march in Melbourne.



Cheers,

Mike.

Offline zulu delta 534

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Re: Anzac Day 2013 Melbourne CBD March
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2013, 07:42:35 AM »
Up here in the Northern climes, the Vehicular loading Marshall happens to be supplied by the MJCQ who supply about half the vehicles of the day.
The club along with the March committee supply a loading platform, ie a set of stairs complete with hand rails to enable the older vets to mount and dismount the vehicles in a manner that is firstly, safe to them, and secondly, complies with OHS or whoever they are this year.
What transport requirements cannot be handled by the MJCQ spill over to sub contracted Golf Buggies. Both types of vehicles are open and give the Vet a clear and unobstructed view of the saluting dais and also gives the public a clear view of the Vets themselves.


This vehicular Marshalling project has been a key factor, we feel, here in Brisbane in keeping the march transport system as partially under control as it is today, and with this in mind, this future aim is fostered within younger members of the club as a position to aim for.
Regards
Glen