Davistown RSL Club overturns rule which stopped
Vietnam veteran wearing war vest
Central Coast Gosford Express Advocate
February 04, 20151:00AM
Vietnam veteran Robert Wickes and his
leather bikers gear.
Davistown RSL has amended a by-law
which precluded a Vietnam veteran from entering the club
wearing his motorcycle vest adorned with service medals but
Robert Wickes won’t be returning anytime soon.
A member of the club for 20 years, Mr Wickes
was turned away on Vietnam Veteran Day in 2012 because his vest
was said to resemble outlaw motorcycle gang attire.
He has been fighting the decision ever since
and has hired Gosford criminal lawyer Manny Conditsis to
represent him in the matter.
Mr Wickes is currently in hospital for a
stress-related condition he blames largely on the ongoing
After a story in the Express Advocate
outlining his plight, Mr Wickes said he had received a phone
call to advise him of the amendment.
“However I have had nothing in writing – just a phone
call inviting me to visit the club with my wife for dinner,” he
“I have had no apology and even if I
received one I would be unlikely to return to the club.
“However I pursued the issue for all Vietnam vets
and if this by-law has been changed I see it as a victory in that
Mr Wickes gained support for his campaign to have
the by-law changed from former comrade-in-arms and retired assistant
police commissioner of Victoria and Queensland Allan Roberts and
Vietnam Veterans, Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Association NSW
secretary Frank Cole, who called for “common sense to prevail”.
Club general manager Ben Bradley confirmed that
By-law 27 had been amended but refused to comment further on legal
Mr Wickes’ lawyer Manny Conditsis said he was
awaiting written confirmation from the club of the amendment before
offering further advice to his client.
The motorcycle jacket worn by
Vietnam veteran, Robert Wickes, when he was
refused entry into a Davistown RSL club on the