Freedom of Entry
"HALT! WHO COMES HERE?" - bellowed Superintendent Brad Sorrell, South Metropolitan District (Police Force).
"AUSTRALIAN NAVY SUBMARINE FORCE, EXERCISING ITS RIGHT AND PRIVILEGE TO PASS THROUGH THE CITY OF FREMANTLE" - was the reply from Captain Matt Buckley, and their march around and through Kings Square continued unimpeded.
The sea of white that snaked along William Street on Friday 7 November consisted of men and women of HMAS Stirling. Some 600 locals, CBD workers, and naval enthusiasts came out to see the submariners in their finery with "swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating, band playing and banners flying".
After a moving Welcome to Country from Reverend Sealin Garlett, Mayor Brad Pettitt addressed the crowd, reading text from a large ceremonial scroll which was soon handed to Captain Matt Buckley (Commander of the Submarine Force) for his response.
The Mayor and the Commander then moved among the servicemen and women, passing out compliments to the assembled parties.
The Mayor soon stepped aside and HMAS Stirling stepped off. The band uproariously guided the hundreds of sailors marching behind them up William Street towards Queen Street. They were stopped on the corner of William & Queen Sts by Superintendent Sorrell but soon continued on and completed their lap. Cheers followed them as they went.
The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying refreshments in the Fremantle Town Hall, an expression of gratitude for the service of these men and women and a celebration of the long-standing relationship Fremantle has with our Navy.
Mayor Brad Pettitt, Captain Matt Buckley & Superintendent Brad Sorrell
Reverend Sealin Garlett delivering the Welcome to Country
The weapons party moving into position
The HMAS Stirling band getting prepared
Mayor Pettitt and Captain Buckley reading from the ceremonial scroll to commence the Freedom of Entry
And the march begins with band playing
And drums beating
Presenting the scroll to Superintendent Brad Sorrell to prove their right to parade through Fremantle's streets
Perfectly in step
Enjoying some refreshments and live entertainment (by Fiddlestix) in the Fremantle Town Hall