The Devonport community is invited to cheer on the crew of Royal Australian Navy warship HMAS Stuart as 180 officers and sailors perform a Freedom of Entry Parade through the city at midday on 29 February.
The Anzac-class helicopter frigate will visit Devonport, its ceremonial home port, from 28 February until 1 March.
The parade will begin at the cenotaph on Victoria Parade with the crew marching to the Rooke Street Mall for the “challenge’’ component of the ceremony.
HMAS Stuart was last granted Freedom of Entry in 2014.
According to Australia Protocol and Procedures 2007: “The practice of Freedom of Entry originated in medieval Europe, when special privilege of entry within the walls of cities might be granted to a band of armed men, entry otherwise denied to them because of the threat of attacks and looting. The Freedom of Entry permitted the armed band to march through the granting city ‘with swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating, bands playing, colours flying and in full panoply of regalia’.’’
The practice is now ceremonial, representing the highest honour bestowed by a military unit.
Mayor Annette Rockliff said the vessel had a close association with the city and it was appropriate that such an honour was afforded to the crew for a second time.
“Granting permission for the Freedom of Entry to the HMAS Stuart is deemed a privilege, honour and distinction,” she said.
“And the close association with the city meant it was a request Council was only to happy to agree to when first approached by Royal Australian Navy.”
Cr Rockliff said the 2014 ceremony was well attended by the public and she was confident the community would turn out for the February event.
The visit coincides with the Devonport Regatta and Triathlon which are timed to occur over the same weekend.
CAPTION: HMAS Stuart’s crew participating in the 2014 Freedom of Entry ceremony.
Nigel Tapp |Media & Communications Officer Devonport City Council
03 6424 0562 | 0427 132 972 |[email protected]