Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,710,190 articles and books

Error of judgement or outright bigotry? The colours controversy of the 1950's.



As Australians, we are extremely fortunate to live in one of the most tolerant societies in the world (far more tolerant then many commentators would have us believe). This has not, of course, always been the case. One group in Australian society who have in the past suffered discrimination is Catholics. Things are certainly better today than they were when I was a small boy in the 1950's, when I end my brothers end parents experienced outfight v. t. 1. to exceed in fighting; fight more competently; as, He outfought his challengers; the boxer outfought his opponent for eight rounds but lost the bout in the ninth on a knockout s>.
2. to defeat in a battle; as, The French forces outfought the Germans s>.
 bigotry end intolerance in various places due to our religion. Days now long gone, thankfully. But, the 1950's were definitely days of sectarian bigotry (not all one-sided of course) and this paper looks back to an event, or actually a sequence of events, which saw Australian Catholic military placed in a position where they could have been faced with a choice between their Faith and their careers. This was the so-called "Colours Controversy."

**********

"Colours" in the context of this article are a flag or flags in heraldic he·ral·dic  
adj.
Of or relating to heralds or heraldry.



he·raldi·cal·ly adv.

Adj. 1.
 colours, bearing designs relevant to a particular military organisation and embroidered em·broi·der  
v. em·broi·dered, em·broi·der·ing, em·broi·ders

v.tr.
1. To ornament with needlework: embroider a pillow cover.

2.
 with battle, campaign and theatre honours if awarded. Modern Australian colours are the descendants of the banners carried into battle by the British Army The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. It came into being with unification of the governments and armed forces of England and Scotland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707.  right up until the last quarter of the 19th century. Currently, the Australian Army The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. It is part of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) along with the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force.  issues Queen's and Regimental Colours Regimental Colours is the name for the ceremonial flag bearing the symbol of a military infantry regiment.

In some countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States, each infantry regiment has two colours: the first, known as the Queen's Colour or the
 to infantry battalions and the Royal Military College The Royal Military College can refer to:
  • Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  • Royal Military College, Duntroon in Campbell, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
; regimental guidons to armoured units; and various royal banners and ensigns to the different corps of the Army. (1) The Royal Australian Navy This article is about the Royal Australian Navy. For other Royal Navies, see Royal Navy (disambiguation).
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force.
 is at the opposite end of the spectrum, the RAN's colours consisting of two Queen's Colours, one in possession of the Maritime Headquarters, the other held by the Navy's main training establishment, HMAS HMAS
abbr.
Her (or His) Majesty's Australian Ship
 Cerberus in Victoria. The colour held by MHQ MHQ Maritime Headquarters (RN, Collocated with RCC)
MHQ Mariehamn, Aland Island, Finland (Airport Code)
MHQ Marine Headquarters
MHQ MadhouseHQ (website) 
 is the "Fleet" colour, while that at Cerberus is for the use of shore establishments. (2) The RAN's battle honours are actually vested in its ships, not its colours. The Royal Australian Air Force The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is the Air Force branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAAF began in March 1914 as the Australian Flying Corps and became a fully independent Air Force in March 1921.  lies somewhere between the other two services in the matter of colours. The RAAF RAAF Royal Australian Air Force

RAAF n abbr (Mil) (= Royal Australian Air Force) → australische Luftwaffe f 
 has a single Queen's Colour, held on behalf of the entire Air Force. In addition, "Queen's Colours" are held by a number of major Air Force units and commands; squadron standards are issued to qualifying squadrons and units; and Governor-General's Banners are issued to a number of non-operational units. (3)

Colours had been issued to Australian colonial units as far back as the middle of the 19th century. (4) While the consecration of colours had apparently been the exclusive domain of Anglican clergy, there do not appear to have been any complaints from Catholics or from other denominations about this exclusivity. Complaints from Catholic military personnel that is. It was a different matter for the Catholic hierarchy. As early as 1904, Archbishop Carr (5) had voiced his concerns at this form of Anglican exclusivity to the Minister for Defence. (6) The timing of Archbishop Carr's complaints leads me to surmise that they were voiced at the time of the presentation of "King's Banners" to Australian units for service in the Boer War Boer War: see South African War. . (7) If so, the Archbishop's complaints appear to have paid off. The relevant Government Order outlining the program of parade for the presentation of banners on 14 November 1904 specifically refers to the "Consecration of the King's Colours (sic) by the senior and other chaplains of the Military Forces of the Commonwealth." (8) Presumably pre·sum·a·ble  
adj.
That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster.
, the term "other chaplains" included Catholic.

It would appear, however, that complaints about Anglican exclusivity had struck a raw nerve with the authorities and in the years following, no set arrangements for consecration of colours were made or specified. Indeed, when regulations for the presentation of Militia Infantry colours were promulgated prom·ul·gate  
tr.v. prom·ul·gat·ed, prom·ul·gat·ing, prom·ul·gates
1. To make known (a decree, for example) by public declaration; announce officially. See Synonyms at announce.

2.
 in 1908, it was stated that "The ceremony of presentation is not imperative, and is regarded as a private arrangement between the unit and individual invited to make the presentation." (9)

When Lord Kitchener Lord Kitchener may refer to:
  • Horatio Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener (1850–1916), prominent British soldier in the Sudan, the Second Boer War, and World War I
  • Henry Kitchener, 2nd Earl Kitchener (1846-1937), brother of the 1st Earl Kitchener
 presented the Countess of Dudley's Banners to the Commonwealth Cadet Corps in 1910, no provision for consecration of colours was made at all, despite the fact that in all other respects the instructions for presentation were the same as those for King's and Regimental colours. (10) Later still, when the time came to present King's Colours to the battalions and regiments of the AIF AIF Annual Information Form
AIF Apoptosis-Inducing Factor
AIF Agence Intergouvernementale de la Francophonie (French: Intergovernmental Agency for Francophony)
AIF Australian Imperial Force
 for service in the Great War, Festberg records that the "Colours were not consecrated con·se·crate  
tr.v. con·se·crat·ed, con·se·crat·ing, con·se·crates
1. To declare or set apart as sacred: consecrate a church.

2. Christianity
a.
 at the presentation ceremonies, all units had to make their own arrangements." (11)

Lack of guidance from higher authority unfortunately caused further trouble. In 1924, Catholic voices were again raised in protest when the Commanding Officer of the 59th Infantry Battalion ordered a compulsory parade for the presentation of colours and then invited a Methodist Minister to consecrate con·se·crate  
tr.v. con·se·crat·ed, con·se·crat·ing, con·se·crates
1. To declare or set apart as sacred: consecrate a church.

2. Christianity
a.
 the colours. The Australian Catholic Federation protested this arrangement in no uncertain terms to the Minister for Defence. The Catholic Federation stated that to force Catholic soldiers to attend a compulsory parade where a religious ceremony was to be performed by a non-Catholic Minister was in direct violation of Section 123B of the Defence Act of 1903-1915. This section of the Act states: "No member of the Defence Force who has conscientious objection shall be compelled to answer any question as to his religion, nor shall any regulation or other order compel attendance at any religious service." Unfortunately, it has not proved possible to ascertain the outcome of this particular incident.

Twenty-three years after the presentation of the King's Banners for the Boer War, Archbishop Mannix (12) voiced his concerns at the time of the presentation of colours to the Royal Military College, Duntroon The Royal Military College, Duntroon is Australia's military academy where Staff Cadets train for commissioning into the Australian Army as a part of the Australian Defence Force.

The college is situated in the suburb of Duntroon Canberra, ACT, Australia.
 in 1927. (13) In this instance, however, representations by the Catholic prelate PRELATE. The name of an ecclesiastical officer. There are two orders of prelates; the first is composed of bishops, and the second, of abbots, generals of orders, deans, &c.  were unsuccessful. The ceremony went ahead with the colours being consecrated by the Anglican Chaplain General Chaplains general are the seniormost Anglican chaplains in otherwise non-Anglican organizations. Chaplains general are most commonly appointed in Commonwealth Realms, and are responsible for conducting religious services and ceremonies, and generally representing the Anglican faith . (14) An interesting point to note is that in 1927 Catholics represented approximately 200 of the membership of the Corps of Staff Cadets. (15) Presumably the percentage of Catholics represented in the military and civilian staff of the College were similar.

The matter now languished for 25 years. Very few new colours were issued after 1927 and then the Second World War and its aftermath intervened. (16) The situation finally came to a head in 1952 with the "Colours Controversy". This incident arose out of the granting of colours to the Royal Australian Air Force. In 1952, as one of her many duties as the newly crowned sovereign, Queen Elizabeth Queen Elizabeth, or Elizabeth, may refer to: Living people
  • Elizabeth II, Queen regnant of the Commonwealth Realms
Deceased people
Bohemia
 II approved the grant of colours to the RAAF. The new colours had in fact been approved by the Queen's late father King George King George has referred to many kings throughout history. When used, by Americans, without further reference it most often means George III of the United Kingdom, against whom the Whigs of the American Revolution rebelled.  VI in 1950, but the King had died before the colours could be presented. In memory of her late father the new Queen directed that the original colours as manufactured for the RAAF, bearing the King's cipher cipher: see cryptography.


(1) The core algorithm used to encrypt data. A cipher transforms regular data (plaintext) into a coded set of data (ciphertext) that is not reversible without a key.
 of "GVIR" rather than her own cipher of "EIIR EIIR Elizabeth II Regina (Queen of Great Britain) ", should be issued and used until they wore out and were replaced.

The colours were to be presented to the RAAF by the Governor General at a ceremony at RAAF Base Laverton in Victoria. So far so good, as all of the ceremonial, drill etc involved in the presentation of colours was and is quite straightforward. The problem arose when it came time to consecrate or bless the new colours, an integral part of the presentation. Either deliberately or out of ignorance, the RAAF hierarchy decreed that the new Queen's Colour was to be consecrated by the Anglican Chaplain General. (17) Given the importance of the occasion, all personnel serving at Laverton and Point Cook were directed to take part in the parade. Sometime before the event, however, a number of Catholic servicemen and women requested to be excused from the parade as it was against the teachings of their faith, not to mention their own consciences, to attend a non-Catholic religions service. The request was based on Canon Law canon law, in the Roman Catholic Church, the body of law based on the legislation of the councils (both ecumenical and local) and the popes, as well as the bishops (for diocesan matters). , which stated, quite unequivocally, that; "It is forbidden to actively participate in the worship of non-Catholics (communicatus in sanetis)." (18) The Code of Canon Law went even further than this, stating: "One who cooperates communicatus in sanctis contrary to the provision of Canon 1258 is suspected of heresy." (19) It is more than likely that some readers, especially non-Catholic readers, might say that interpreting the consecration of colours as a "non-Catholic religious service" was drawing a very long bow. It doesn't matter, however, what those readers or, for that matter, the author of this article might think. The fact is that under the teachings of the time and by what they knew and believed, those Catholic personnel at Laverton and Point Cook who had been ordered to attend the colours presentation honestly felt that to attend the parade, compulsorily or otherwise, was to risk commission of the sin of heresy. It was in fact what is referred to as "an occasion of sin An occasion of sin is, in Roman Catholic teaching, an external set of circumstances--whether of things or persons--which either because of their special nature or because of the frailty common to humanity or peculiar to some individual, incite or entice one to sin. ."

Faced with the reality of the situation, ideally, the Air Force should have either accepted the request of the Catholic personnel and excused them from the parade, or arranged for a Catholic priest (and preferably a minister of another Protestant denomination Noun 1. Protestant denomination - group of Protestant congregations
Protestant Church, Protestant - the Protestant churches and denominations collectively
) to cooperate in the religious dedication of the Colour.

Unfortunately, neither of these was done. Not only that, but the Air Force command, with incredible tactlessness tact·less  
adj.
Lacking or exhibiting a lack of tact; bluntly inconsiderate or indiscreet.



tactless·ly adv.
 and lack of understanding, not to mention stupidity, threatened the Catholic personnel, who included several reasonably senior officers, with disciplinary action and even, in at least one case, with dismissal. Catholic cadets at the RAAF College at Point Cook were advised that if they continued with their actions they would be putting their future careers in jeopardy. Officers were threatened with courts martial and airmen and women with severe disciplinary action. (20) The crowning moment came when the Catholic chaplain at Laverton was accused of violating his Oath of Allegiance An oath of allegiance is an oath whereby a subject or citizen acknowledges his/her duty of allegiance and swears loyalty to his monarch or country. In many modern oaths of allegiance, allegiance is sworn to the Constitution.  for refusing to attend the parade. (21)

Faced with orders from above that clashed with both their consciences and the laws of the Church, several of the affected personnel pointed out that such an order was contrary to Section 116 of the Australian Constitution. Section 116 is worth quoting in full, as follows:
   The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any
   religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for
   prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious
   test shall be required as a qualification for any office or
   public trust under the Commonwealth.


Catholic personnel effected by the orders of their superior officers to attend the colours parade pointed to s. 116 and offered the opinion that in ordering them to attend a non-Catholic religious service the Air Force and thus the Commonwealth were in contravention A term of French law meaning an act violative of a law, a treaty, or an agreement made between parties; a breach of law punishable by a fine of fifteen francs or less and by an imprisonment of three days or less. In the U.S.  of the Constitution. To take it a step further, the opinion was also offered that in reserving to the Anglican Church the right to consecrate the colours, the Commonwealth, through its agent the Air Force, was in fact setting up a State Religion. Certainly it cannot be denied that by its actions the Air Force was trying to impose a religious observance on some of its members, while at the same time prohibiting the free observance of their own religion by those same members. While the motives of the Air Force were probably not in any way sinister, the stance taken and the steps taken to enforce that stance were totally unacceptable to Catholics (and probably other faiths and denominations affected as well).

Both Johnstone and Festberg record that discussions at the highest level could not solve the impasse. In the end, faced with the threats to the careers of the Catholic personnel and with great reluctance, Mannix permitted the Catholics to take part in the parade. (22) The parade went ahead and the RAAF Queen's Colour was duly presented and consecrated on 17 September 1952 by the Anglican Chaplain General. (23)

It was unfortunate that the situation had not been resolved at the time as, less than two years later, the problem was to rear its head again. In 1954, new colours were issued to the Royal Military College, Duntroon. (24) Once again, the orders for the parade specified that the new colours were to be consecrated by the Anglican Chaplain General and once again Dr. Mannix leaped to the fray. This time, Archbishop Mannix had finally had enough. In an effort to make sure that government and the armed forces once and for all understood the Catholic position and Catholic concerns, the Archbishop went so far as to ban Catholic cadets from attending the parade. (25) The ban was no light matter for the Army to consider, as Catholics represented 22.9% of the membership of the Corps of Staff Cadets at the time. (26) Negotiations to end the ban went as high as the Prime Minister, with Mr Menzies making personal representations to Archbishop

Mannix. The fact that the colours were to be personally presented by the Queen doubtless had some bearing on the involvement of the Prime Minister!

Steinbach records that negotiations between Menzies and Mannix dated as far back as 1952, at the time of the RAAF Queens Colour debacle. Records indicate the Menzies on several occasions promised action but never delivered. Certain references in Menzies papers indicate that while Menzies himself was prepared to be reasonable, a number of members of his cabinet took a very hard line anti-Catholic view and he was forced to follow suit. With Menzies continuing to fob him off, Mannix finally took the drastic step of providing copies of correspondence between the Archbishop and the Prime Minister to the press. This release of private correspondence was designed to both goad the Prime Minister into action and to stem a rising tide Noun 1. rising tide - the occurrence of incoming water (between a low tide and the following high tide); "a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune" -Shakespeare
flood tide, flood
 of calumny calumny n. the intentional and generally vicious false accusation of a crime or other offense designed to damage one's reputation. (See: defamation)  being directed at Archbishop Mannix by sections of the press who were blaming the Archbishop, rather than the government, for the problem. (27)

Menzies responded to Mannix' publication of their correspondence in aggrieved tones, attempting to shift the blame onto the Archbishop's shoulders. But Mannix stood firm and Menzies was finally forced to provide assurances that the situation would be resolved. Mannix accepted these assurances and lifted the ban on the Catholic cadets. The lifting of the ban was conditional upon a review of colour dedication procedures. (28) In a nice piece of theological hairsplitting hair·split·ting  
n.
The making of unreasonably fine distinctions.



hairsplit
, however, the Archbishop stated that the participation of the cadets would be only "in a physical and military sense." (29) Thus the Catholic cadets were on parade at Duntroon on 17 February 1954 when the Queen presented the new colours, which were then consecrated by the Rt Rev C L Riley, Chaplain General (ANG ANG

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the NL Antillian Guilder.

Notes:
The currency market, also known as the Foreign Exchange market, is the largest financial market in the world, with a daily average volume of over US $1 trillion.
) of the AMF AMF ACE (Allied Command, Europe) Mobile Force
AMF Autorité des Marchés Financiers (French)
AMF Action Message Format
AMF Arab Monetary Fund
AMF Asian Monetary Fund
AMF Autocrine Motility Factor
. (30)

An interesting footnote on the matter of the RMC RMC Royal Military College
RMC Radio Monte Carlo
RMC Randolph-Macon College (Ashland, Virginia)
RMC Regional Medical Center
RMC Robert Morris College (Illinois)
RMC Rocky Mountain College
 colours is the fact that in 1954 new colours were issued to the RAN as well. In his coverage of the issue of these new colours in his excellent book on RAN heraldry heraldry, system in which inherited symbols, or devices, called charges are displayed on a shield, or escutcheon, for the purpose of identifying individuals or families. , Festberg includes the bald statement: "No presentation ceremonies were held." (31) While no details on the reason for this decision have come to light, the author considers it highly likely that the colours were issued without ceremony in order to avoid another bruising round of the seemingly interminable "Colours Controversy." If this supposition is correct, it is a sad indictment on just how far the problem had been allowed to go.

Despite assurances by the Prime Minister, however, the Chaplains-General's Committee failed to resolve the key issue, that is, the canonically based restriction on Catholics not to attend nonCatholic religious services. The interim solution applied was that for presentation of colours, the battalion or regiment's chaplain, or his Chaplain General, would perform the ceremony. (32) This was really no solution at all since, unless the chaplain happened to be Catholic, then the battalion or regiment's Catholics were left in the same untenable position.

Although always intensely interested in the spiritual needs of the Australian military and naval Catholics entrusted to him in his role as Chaplain General, Archbishop Mannix had always delegated the actually running of the position to a deputy. In 1955, the Deputy Chaplain General (RC), Fr Tim McCarthy Timothy J. McCarthy (born c. 1949) is the police chief of Orland Park, Illinois but is most famous for leaping in front of US President Ronald Reagan to stop one of John Hinckley, Jr.'s .22 caliber bullets on March 30, 1981 (see Reagan assassination attempt for details). , resigned his position. (33) His position was taken by Fr John Aloysius Morgan who took up his appointment on 8 September 1955. (34) The choice of Fr Morgan as Deputy Chaplain General was nothing short of inspired. A priest of wide experience, Fr Morgan was also a very experienced military chaplain, having served full time with the AIF during World War Two, including operational service in the South West Pacific, and then continued his involvement as a part time CMF CMF Christian Medical Fellowship
CMF Compressed Mortality File
CMF Content Management Framework
CMF Council of Michigan Foundations
CMF Congressional Management Foundation (Washington DC, USA)
CMF Code Monétaire et Financier
 chaplain after the war. So he was no stranger to the peculiar world of the military ecclesiastic ECCLESIASTIC. A clergyman; one destined to the divine ministry, as, a bishop, a priest, a deacon. Dom. Lois Civ. liv. prel. t. 2, s. 2, n. 14.  and his flock. Beyond that, however, "Alo" Morgan was (and still is) a man of great intelligence and intellect, wide learning and deep compassion, tact and understanding. All of these attributes were to be of enormous use to him in the first months of his service as Deputy Chaplain General.

No sooner had Fr Morgan taken up his position than he was faced with the delicate problem of the presentation of colours to the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment The Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) is the parent regiment for regular infantry battalions of the Australian Army, making up the majority of the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. , scheduled to be presented to the battalion by the Governor General Field Marshal Sir William Slim on 28 September 1955. (35) The problem from the point of view of the Catholic Church was that the Regimental Chaplain of 2RAR RAR Retinoic Acid Receptor
RAR Resource Adapter Archive (J2EE)
RAR Royal Australian Regiment
RAR Risk Assessment Report
RAR Roshal Archive (WinRAR compressed file format; file extension) 
 was a minister of a Protestant Denomination. Fr Morgan entered into urgent discussions with the Commanding Officer of 2RAR who was himself fully aware of the delicate nature of the situation. Between the two of them they worked out a compromise whereby the Catholics in the battalion were posted as picquets "holding ground" for the presentation ceremony. (36) Thus the Catholics were on the parade but technically not part of it.

While this. compromise had worked well, it was still just that, a compromise. No sooner had Fr Morgan got over the presentation of colours to the Regular Army 2RAR, than he was faced with the same problem for the CMF 2nd Battalion, City of Newcastle For the council of the English city, see .
Newcastle City Council is a Local Government Area in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. Demographics
According to the Australian Bureau Statistics [2], there:
 Regiment, whose colours were scheduled to be presented in April 1956. (37) Because the chaplain of this battalion was Catholic, Fr Morgan was to officiate of·fi·ci·ate  
v. of·fi·ci·at·ed, of·fi·ci·at·ing, of·fi·ci·ates

v.intr.
1. To perform the duties and functions of an office or a position of authority.

2. To serve as an officiant.
. But, while this would have suited the Catholics in the unit, Fr Morgan foresaw problems with the non-Catholic members of the battalion. For various reasons, he was keen to avoid this. He was also keen to solve the problem once and for all. At this point, the problem appeared so intractable that there was talk of having no religious element to the Newcastle parade at all and, by inference, any further parades. In an interview with the author, Bishop Morgan recalled that he had privately decided that he would not abide by the compromise solution then in place but would in fact refuse to officiate unless the other two major denominations were represented. Fr Morgan firmly believed that all members of the Chaplains General's Conference were as desperate for a solution as he was and only needed a small push to guide them onto the correct path. (38)

Fortunately for all concerned, the Adjutant ADJUTANT. A military officer, attached to every battalion of a regiment. It is his duty to superintend, under his superiors, all matters relating to the ordinary routine of discipline in the regiment.  General of the Army, Major General Mervyn Brogan, the officer responsible for religious matters in the Army, took a hand. After discussion with Fr Morgan he called a conference of Chaplains General in Canberra to thrash out a solution. At the conference Fr Morgan stated openly that he did not want to go to Newcastle alone. His preference was for all three Chaplains General to jointly officiate at a consecration, dedication and blessing of the colours. The other Chaplains General and the Adjutant General, just as keen as Fr Morgan to solve the problem, readily agreed, conditional upon an acceptable form of service, compatible with military ceremonial, being produced.

A minor but still significant procedural point that was ironed out at the conference was the Catholic objection to the use of the word "consecration." As Fr Morgan pointed out to the conference, Catholics do not consecrate non-sacred objects. While, for example, a church altar or a chalice chalice [Lat.,=cup], ancient name for a drinking cup, retained for the eucharistic or communion cup. Its use commemorates the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper.  may be consecrated, a set of colours could not. Thus it was agreed that the Anglican Chaplain General or his representative would "consecrate" the colours, the Catholic Chaplain General or his representative would "bless" the colours and the OPD OPD

Tape symbol showing either the first transaction of the day in a security after a delayed opening or the opening transaction in a security whose price has experienced a large rise or fall from the previous day's closing price.
 Chaplain General or his representative would "dedicate" the colours to God and the country. From the strict theological point of view, blessing of colours was and is quite acceptable to the Catholic Church. (39)

The Secretary of the Chaplains General Committee, Major Dimpsey, drafted a form of service that was accepted by the Committee and then referred to their respective denominational hierarchies. All denominations accepted the new form without demur To dispute a legal Pleading or a statement of the facts being alleged through the use of a demurrer. . Mgr. Fox on behalf of Archbishop Mannix outlined the new procedure in a letter to the Australian Catholic Bishops, who apparently accepted the procedure with pleasure and probably not a little relief. At the Colour Parade in Newcastle on 15 April 1956, the new colours of 2nd Battalion, City of Newcastle Regiment were consecrated by Bishop Riley, Chaplain General (ANG), blessed by Fr Morgan, Deputy Chaplain General (RC), and dedicated by Rev Brooke, Chaplain General (OPD). The ceremony was a great success and in a newspaper interview the next day the Anglican Bishop An Anglican Bishop is a bishop in the Anglican church, either in the British Isles or beyond. Anglican Bishops
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu (South Africa)
  • Archbishop Robin Eames (Ireland)
 of Newcastle acknowledged the immense difficulties experienced in the past by Catholic servicemen and women and praised the new procedure. Just over one week later, on 24 April 1956, the fifth anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong The Battle of Kapyong was waged during the Korean War. The battle began on 22 April and lasted until 25 April, 1951. The Chinese People's Liberation Army assaulted positions held by United Nations (UN) forces from Australia, Canada and Britain. , the 3rd Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment was presented with its colours in a splendid ceremony incorporating the new procedure. (40)

Moreover, when the new Hall of Remembrance at the Australian War Memorial The Australian War Memorial is Australia's national memorial to the members of all its armed forces and supporting organizations who have died or participated in the wars of the Commonwealth of Australia. The memorial includes an extensive national military museum.  in Canberra was dedicated in 1959, an Anglican chaplain (representing the RAN), a Catholic chaplain (representing the Army) and a Protestant chaplain (representing the RAAF), blessed, consecrated and dedicated the Hall. This ceremony, carried out at the invitation of the Governor General, Field Marshal Slim, was in stark contrast to the opening of the War Memorial on 11 November 1941, which Catholics had been forbidden to attend for exactly the same reasons as the "Colours Controversy."

Although the matter of denominational exclusivity had finally been laid to rest, its memory lived on, generally not happily. As an example of how deeply the "Colours Controversy" had effected the psyche of the ADF (1) (Application Development Facility) An IBM programmer-oriented mainframe application generator that runs under IMS.

(2) (Automatic Document Feeder) A paper stacker that feeds one sheet of paper at a time into the unit.
, one needs only to turn to Neville Lindsay's 1994 history of the Officer Cadet School, Portsea. When reading Lindsay's account of the presentation of the first (and in the end only) set of colours to OCS OCS - Object Compatibility Standard  in 1968, one can quite palpably feel the sense of relief as the author writes:
   Fortunately, at this stage it was possible to have an ecumenical
   blessing of the colours, in stark contrast to the religious problems
   of the 1954 presentations at the Royal Military College. (41)


So the "Colours Controversy" was finally resolved. It is a great pity, but perhaps a reflection of the times, that it ever occurred in the first place. That it was eventually resolved with minimum fuss and rancour is a tribute to the strength and stability of Australia's institutions, both political and military. It is also a tribute to the tact and diplomacy of a great Australian Catholic cleric, John Aloysius Morgan.

Bibliography

Australian Book of Reference 1834 Vol. 3 Royal Australian Navy Flag Ceremonial Procedures.

Ceremonial Manual 1999 Volume 1.

Coulthard-Clark, Chris, 1986 Duntroon The Royal Military College of Australia 1911-1986, Allen & Unwin Australasia Pty. Ltd., Sydney

Davidson, Peter. A, 1990 Skypilot A History of Chaplaincy in the RAAF 1926-1990, Principal Chaplain's Committee Air Force.

Defence Instruction (Air Force) Administrative 10-15, Queen "s Colour.

Festberg, Alfred N, 1972 Australian Army Guidons and Colours, Allara Publishing Pry. Ltd., Melbourne.

Festberg, Alfred N, 1981 Heraldry in the Royal Australian Navy, Silverleaf Publishing, Melbourne.

Herber (ed.), 1918 Codex codex

Manuscript book, especially of Scripture, early literature, or ancient mythological or historical annals. The earliest type of manuscript in the form of a modern book (i.e.
 ijuris canonici (Code of Canon Law) 1917 (Translated from the Latin by John Wigngaards), Freiburg.

Johnstone, Torn, 2000 The Cross of ANZAC An·zac  
n.
A soldier from New Zealand or Australia.



[A(ustralian and) N(ew) Z(ealand) A(rmy) C(orps).]


An
 Australian Catholic Service Chaplains, Church Archivists' Press, Virginia (QLD QLD or Qld Queensland ).

Lindsay, Neville 1994, Loyalty and Service The Officer Cadet School Portsea, Historia Productions, Kenmore (SA).

Moore, Daniel, 2001 Duntroon: The Royal Military College of Australia 1911-2001, RMC of Australia, Canberra.

Steinbaeh, Wing Commander Johannes, 2001 "Sectarianism's Last Stand? Mannix, Menzies and the 1954 Duntroon Colours Controversy," Australian Defence Force

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is the military organisation responsible for the defence of Australia.
 Journal, No. 146, January/February, pp. 19-26.

Amendment To Federal Council Box Number.

From August 2003 the Federal Council PO Box Number has been amended from PO Box 30 GARRAN ACT 2605 to PO Box 5030 GARRAN ACT 2605. New mail sorting equipment needs to be able to distinguish between post office boxes at different Australian post outlets within the same post code region.

(1) Ceremonial Manual 1999 Volume 1, Chap 5, paragraph 5.2-5.12.

(2) Australian Book of Reference 1834 Vol. 3 Royal Australian Navy Flag Ceremonial Procedures, Chap. 1, p.l-4.

(3) Defence Instruction (Air Force) Administrative 10-15, Queen's Colour.

(4) Festberg, Alfred N, 1972 Australian Army Guidons and Colours, Allara Publishing Pry. Ltd., Melbourne, pp. 5-11.

(5) Most Rev Dr T J Cart, DD (1839-1917), Archbishop of Melbourne 1886-1917 and Chaplain General (RC) to the Australian Military Forces The Australian Military Forces (AMF) was the official name of the military of Australia from 1916 onwards [1]. This encompassed both regular (full-time) and militia or Citizens Military Forces (part-time).  1913-1917.

(6) Johnstone, Tom, 2000 The Cross of Anzac Australian Catholic Service Chaplains, Church Archivists' Press, Virginia (QLD), p.273.

(7) Festberg, op. cit., pp.15-16.

(8) G.O. No. 258 of 8th November, 1904, reproduced in Festberg, op. cit., pp. 17-19.

(9) MO 524., King's and Regimental Colours, quoted in Festberg, op. cir., p.29.

(10) Presentation banners presented by Her Excellency the Countess of Dudly, to the Senior Cadetr Battalions of the Commonwealth, quoted in Festberg, op. cit., pp. 38-40.

(11) Festberg, op. cit., p.48.

(12) Most Rev Dr D Mannix, DD (1864-1963), Archbishop of Melbourne 1917-1963 and Chaplain General (RC) to the AMF 1917-1963.

(13) Johnstone, op. cit. See also Moore, Daniel, 2001 Duntroon." The Royal Military College of Australia 1911-2001, RMC of Australia, Canberra, p. 68.

(14) Moore, op. cit., p. 99.

(15) Coulthard-Clark, Chris, 1986 Duntroon The Royal Military College of Australia 1911-1986, Allen & Unwin Australasia Pry. Ltd., Sydney, p.274.

(16) Guidons and Colours issued between January 1928 and September 1939 comprised guidons to 1st, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 18th, 21th and 23rd Light Horse Regiments, all issued in March and April 1928 and colours to 9th Battalion (Moreton Regiment) May 1928, 16th Battalion (Goldfields n. 1. A small slender woolly annual (Lasthenia chrysostoma) with very narrow opposite leaves and branches bearing solitary golden-yellow flower heads; it grows from Southwestern Oregon to Baja California and Arizona; - it is often cultivated.  Regiment) October 1933, 47th Battalion (Wide Bay Regiment) October 1938 and Melbourne University Rifles, March 1928. Festberg, op. tit., pp. 60-61. This was a total of 13 units out of an entitled list of 86.

(17) Rt Rev C O L Riley (1854-1929), Chaplain General (ANG) to the AMF 1916-1929.

(18) Codex iuris canonici (Code of Canon Law) 1917, Canon 1258.

(19) Ibid, Canon 2316.

(20) Discussion between the author and Wing Commander Johannes Steibach of 27 March 2002. Wing Commander Steinbach is the author of "Sectarianism's Last Stand? Mannix, Menzies and the 1954 Duntroon Colours Controversy," which appeared in the January/February 2001 edition of the Australian Defence Force Journal The Wing Commander is extremely knowledgeable on all aspects of the controversy and gave the author much interesting background detail.

(21) Fr LT Tellefson, FT Chaplain (RC), RAAF Station Laverton 1952-54. See Davidson, Peter. A, 1990 Skypilot A History of Chaplaincy in the RAAF 1926-1990, Principal Chaplain's Committee--Air Force, Canberra, no page number.

(22) Discussion with Peter Davidson Peter Davidson can refer to:
  • Peter Davidson (architect) - co-founder of Lab Architecture Studio
  • Peter Davidson (artist)
  • Peter Davidson (football player) - AFL football player
  • Peter Davidson (comedy actor) - actor who appeared in The Goodies
, 15 March 2002. Also confirmed in discussion with Wing Commander Steinbach of 27 March 2002.

(23) Rt Rev C L Riley CBE CBE Commander of the Order of the British Empire (a Brit. title)

CBE n abbr (= Companion of (the Order of) the British Empire) → título de nobleza

CBE n abbr (=
 (1888-1971), Chaplain General (ANG) to the AMF, 1942-1957. Rt Rev C L Riley was the son of Rt. Rev C O L Riley.

(24) Coulthard-Clark, op. cit., p. 190.

(25) Festberg, op. sit., p. 91.

(26) Coulthard-Clark, op. cit., p.274.

(27) Steinbach, "Sectarianism's Last Stand?", op cit. Also discussions between Steinbach and the author, 27 March 2002.

(28) Johnstone, op. cit., p.274.

(29) Festberg, op. cit., p.92.

(30) Coulthard-Clark, op. cit., p.192. All other things aside, it is a matter of some interest to the author of this article that the Royal Military College's colours were consecrated in 1927 by Bishop C O L Riley while the colours presented in 1954 were consecrated by his son.

(31) Festberg, Alfred N, 1981 Heraldry in the Royal Australian Navy, Silverleaf Publishing, Melbourne, p. 12.

(32) Johnstone, op. cit., p.274. When colours are presented, a guard or picquet picquet: see piquet.  is detailed to mount security around the perimeter of the parade ground. This practice dates back to the time when armed guards actually were needed to fight off intruders if necessary during colour or religious services. This is referred to in military ceremonial terminology as "holding ground." Although largely ceremonial today, holding ground is still a very real security procedure.

(33) Fr T McCarthy, CBE, Deputy Chaplain General (RC) of the AMF, 1942-1955.

(34) Most Rev J A Morgan, DD AO ED (b. 1909), Bishop Emeritus, Auxiliary Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Deputy Chaplain General (RC) 1955-1963, Chaplain General 1963-1981, Australian Military Vicar 1981-1985.

(35) Festberg, Colours. op. cit., p.94.

(36) Johnstone, op. cir., p. 274.

(37) Ibid. Also Festberg, op. cit., p.93.

(38) Interview with Bishop Morgan, 19 March 2002.

(39) Ibid.

(40) On 24 April 1951, near the village of Kapyong in South Korea the 3rd Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment made an epic and bloody stand against the better part of a Chinese Division. The battalion's action (along with the just as epic stand by the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) is an infantry regiment in the Canadian Forces (CF), belonging to 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (1 CMBG). It is one of the most decorated regiments in the CF. ) blunted the Chinese drive and gave the retreating UN forces precious time to consolidate and dig in on a new defensive line. For its heroic actions 3RAR was awarded the US Presidential Unit Citation The Presidential Unit Citation is a senior unit award granted to military units which have performed an extremely meritorious or heroic act, usually in the face of an armed enemy.  (for group bravery). The battalion celebrates Kapyong Day every year on 24 April and at a ceremonial parade the streamer of the Presidential Unit Citation is fixed to the staff of the Regimental Colour and paraded with full honours. The Royal Australian Regiment shares the battle honour "Kapyong" with the PPCLI PPCLI Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
PPCLI Passport Command Line Interface (Nortel Networks) 
, (2 PPCLI also received a PUC (Public Utility Commission) A regulatory body in every state in the U.S. that governs public utilities within its jurisdiction such as electricity, gas, oil, sewer, water, transportation and telephone service. Some states call it the Public Service Commission (PSC). ) who also celebrate Kapyong Day annually. Each year on Kapyong Day the RAR exchanges greetings with the PPCLI.

(41) Lindsay, Neville 1994, Loyalty and Service The Officer Cadet School Portsea, Historia Productions, Kenmore (SA), p. 201.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Military Historical Society of Australia
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Wilson, Graham
Publication:Sabretache
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Sep 1, 2003
Words:5048
Previous Article:Burying the 1st AIF *.
Next Article:The swastika of Bali.
Topics:



Related Articles
NIH finds scientific errors but no fraud.
A HOUSE DIVIDED.
Messages from the past.
Forbo. (Interior Finishes; Product Review).
Black Like Me.
Anti-racism charter is in the works.
Catholic University bans civil rights group for prochoice stance.
Worth correcting.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters