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Uniforms - Celebrated and Memorialized

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Written by  | Published in: Personal stories

By Luke Bryant - Australian Independent Member - Prime Timers Worldwide

Most Countries annually celebrate or memorialize an important event in their histories that involves citizens in a uniform that is identical or of distinctive style. They identify themselves as a member, or supporter of a group or, the uniform is worn to identify their occupation, affiliation, or status.

In the USA, July 4 is "The Day" the Nation celebrates its freedom; this includes a huge variety of uniforms proudly worn by hundreds of thousands of American Citizens, while Memorial Day is for remembering the men and women who died while serving in the USA Armed Forces, it is memorialized every year on the last Monday of May. 

 

pdfPlease click here for a PDF version of this article.

 

 

 

In Australia, on February 25 we commemorate the loss of our military service members with religious services at war shrines. Street parades by ex-service citizens wearing earlier uniforms and other people proudly wearing medals to represent their family members lost in war, march together with those currently serving in many Services.

luke-bryant-medalsBefore my seven earlier years in the Royal Australian Air Force Reserve, the extended families of my parents were composed of Naval, Military and Police members and currently, a Sen. Senior in Victoria Police, so a wide collection of uniforms were often observed - and admired by the writer, an adolescent beginning to comprehend and publicly admit his sexual orientation in 1997, as Official Photographer of the Gay and Lesbian Police Employees Network (Vic) Inc. (GALPEN) before elected as Administration Officer in 1998. Affiliate Membership of the Golden State Police Association in California followed a year later. These two gay police groups faced similar resistance from their respective Command.

As my collection of various police and military uniforms expanded, I joined the American Uniform Association, (AUA) an international social organization, existing to provide fellowship for those interested in uniforms of all types and styles. In 1992, and 80 or more members, I attended their 15th Annual Review in San Francisco, a wonderful long weekend event for gay men in a whole host of uniforms.

It is very important to note, it is illegal to wear the current uniform of police or military in the uniforms prime country without Legal Entitlement. However, it may perhaps be worn elsewhere without legal prejudice.

It remains incomprehensible why a percentage of older gay men in particular seem to willingly retain sad memories and practices of earlier days when Australian Law was opposed to homosexuality and police acted, at times badly, yet in accordance with that bad Law, long since removed.

Sadly, because of my long st`anding police connections, fear or misunderstanding continues by senior representatives of the local gay group as their membership continues to decline.

luke-bryant-2The Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation, (Vic) Inc. was formed in 1998. I joined in 2001. I am legally entitled to wear their attire and we work to honour members of the Victoria Police killed in the line of duty. The Foundation has volunteers implementing all fundraising that has raised well over two million dollars for State Public Hospitals.

Our Foundation is perhaps similar to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Luke Bryant. August 28 2014

 

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Last modified on Tuesday, 02 September 2014 17:20
Luke Bryant

Retired, following 20 years at Monash University, Dept. of Physics as Head of Photographic Laboratory from 1962 to the end of 1982 – to become openly involved with Gay/Lesbian issues in Law Enforcement, particularly those of Gay/Lesbian Victoria Police Officers.

I'm also a member of the Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation,  formed  to perpetuate the memory of members of the Victoria Police killed in the line of duty. This is achieved through fund raising with money going to specialized medical facilities in Victorian public hospitals. 

To date, the Blue Ribbon Foundation has allocated more than $3 million to community projects that give specialized treatment and medical care to over 65,000 patients each year.

* See: Articles in Prime Timers, "ACCEPTANCE - NOT TOLERANCE AND HATE-CRIMES"  Pages 10 & 11, February 2012 and "TIMES PAST" Pages 10 & 11,  August 2012. 

Much of my history and photos can be found throughout my website on Yahoo “flickr”.  See below.

Website: www.flickr.com/photos/rlukebryant/

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