The Whyalla Community Brass Band have spoken out after being excluded from performing at all Whyalla RSL Sub-Branch commemorative services.
The band have been performing at Whyalla RSL services since 2014 but have been excluded from ANZAC Day, Vietnam Veterans Day.and Remembrance Day commemorations over the past 12-18 months.
In a statement, the Brass Band said no explanation or reasons were given in writing for the exclusion other than a verbal comment that the band wouldn’t be needed from the RSL.
“The band made an appeal to the local RSL regarding Remembrance Day this year – due to its significance – but this appeal has been rejected, as conveyed by the RSL Regional Coordinator,” they said.
“It was following appeals to be involved with the services, and advice on who to direct that involvement to, that the band received its final exclusion from all services.
“Whilst the brass band acknowledges the right of the local RSL committee to make these decisions, the band objects to the apparent disregard for its community service, its members and the manner in which it has been dealt with by the local RSL.”
However the band say they are ‘open to genuine discussions and efforts to re-involve it fully in these very public commemoration services’.
“It is hoped that in the coming weeks the Whyalla Sub Branch of the RSL will be receptive to discussion on the full inclusion of Whyalla’s town band in future services.
“It would be an absolute shame if recorded music was used as a substitute for music Whyalla’s own town band could supply.”
The band is represented by a broad cross section of the community, which includes the youngest player of 17 years to the oldest at 96.
The Whyalla RSL Sub-Branch declined to comment on the situation.