Albatross and Creswell granted continued Freedom of Entry into the Shoalhaven

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Dallas McMaugh (author), LSIS Yuri Ramsey (photographer), ABIS Sarah Williams (photographer)

Location(s): Nowra, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Albatross, Freedom of Entry, HMAS Creswell

HMAS Albatross and HMAS Creswell sailors march through the main street of Nowra during their Freedom of Entry parade.  (photo: ABIS Sarah Williams)
HMAS Albatross and HMAS Creswell sailors march through the main street of Nowra during their Freedom of Entry parade.

HMAS Albatross celebrated the 65th anniversary of its commissioning with a ‘Freedom of Entry’ parade through the City of Shoalhaven today. 

The parade featured 1000 officers and sailors from HMAS Albatross and HMAS Creswell marching through Nowra with ‘swords drawn, bayonets fixed, the band playing and colours flying’ until Albatross Commanding Officer, Captain Gordon Andrew, was symbolically challenged by the acting Shoalhaven Local Area Commander, Superintendent Paul Condon, with the traditional “Halt! Who goes there!”

Reviewing Officer, the Commander Fleet Air Arm, Commodore Vince Di Pietro, said it was a very special privilege for a military unit to be granted the Freedom of Entry to a city.

“It is a very old tradition that says the Military unit has earned the city's trust. In Nowra's case, this is even more special as it acknowledges a trust earned over the 65 years of the Fleet Air Arm making its home in Nowra onboard HMAS Albatross.”

Shoalhaven Police local area commander, Paul Condon, challenges Commanding Officer of HMAS Albatross, Captain Gordon Andrew, RAN, as HMAS Albatross and HMAS Creswell exercise their Freedom of Entry into Nowra.

Shoalhaven Police local area commander, Paul Condon, challenges Commanding Officer of HMAS Albatross, Captain Gordon Andrew, RAN, as HMAS Albatross and HMAS Creswell exercise their Freedom of Entry into Nowra.

Captain Andrew also stressed the important link that the parade provided for the Royal Australian Navy to the local community.

“The Freedom of Entry allows us to showcase our traditions and history and, just as importantly, occasions such as this provide Albatross and Creswell personnel with a valuable opportunity to thank everyone in the local community for their ongoing support.”

The Freedom of Entry was planned to mark not only Albatross’s 65th anniversary, but also the 100th anniversary of the Royal Australian Naval College which is now located at HMAS Creswell. The event was also a lead into the International Fleet Review, which will take place in Sydney in October.

The Fleet Air Arm will play an exciting role in the International Fleet Review, with a combined flypast featuring more than a dozen Navy helicopters flying over Sydney Harbour. Shoalhaven residents got a preview of this spectacle when helicopters from 816, 723 and 808 Squadrons flew in formation over the Freedom of Entry parade.

Helicopters from 723 Squadron, 808 Squadron and 816 Squadron, based at HMAS Albatross, conduct a flypast through Nowra, during the Freedom of Entry parade for HMAS Albatross and HMAS Creswell.

Helicopters from 723 Squadron, 808 Squadron and 816 Squadron, based at HMAS Albatross, conduct a flypast through Nowra, during the Freedom of Entry parade for HMAS Albatross and HMAS Creswell.