Freedom of Entry for HMAS Cairns

This article has photo gallery Published on CPOB Anthony Martin (author and photographer)

Location(s): Cairns

Topic(s): Freedom of Entry, HMAS Cairns

The CO of HMAS Cairns leading the Officers and Ships Company through the streets of Cairns during the Freedom Of Entry as part of navy week celebrations in Far North Queensland. (photo: CPOB Tony Martin)
The CO of HMAS Cairns leading the Officers and Ships Company through the streets of Cairns during the Freedom Of Entry as part of navy week celebrations in Far North Queensland.

With swords drawn and colours flying, more than 150 officers and ship’s company from HMAS Cairns exercised their Freedom of Entry marching through the streets of Cairns.
 
Commanding officer Cairns Commander Carl Capper said the men and women of the base were proud members of the Queensland community.
 
”Freedom of Entry provides an opportunity for us to show our commitment to the Cairns region and the north of Australia more broadly,” Commander Capper said.
 
“The march through the city is an opportunity to reaffirm the establishment’s ties and friendship with the community.
 
"HMAS Cairns will always be a critical Defence establishment in protecting our national interests," he said.
 
The Royal Australian Navy Band accompanied the march down Abbott Street from the Esplanade, before the Scroll party was 'challenged' by Queensland Police Chief Superintendent Brett Schafferius.
 
Mayor of Cairns Councillor Bob Manning, with reviewing officer Commander Capper, took the parade salute outside the Cairns Library.
 
The right of Freedom of Entry is a symbolic mark of honour and support from a city to a military unit.
 
The tradition originates in medieval times, when a city would show its trust in a group of men-at-arms by allowing them to enter their walls without being disarmed.
 
In modern times, it is also a positive demonstration of core military ceremonial skills; marching, carrying weapons, precise drill and coordinated movement of personnel.
 
Cairns
 was commissioned in 1974 and was named after an Australian Second World War Bathurst class corvette of the same name which began her sea service in 1942, serving in the Indian Ocean, Eastern Africa, the Mediterranean and in Australian waters.
 
The base is home to over a dozen units that support Navy capability, and is also the home base for Hydrographic vessels and Patrol Boats.
 
The base works closely with local and Federal Government agencies contributing to the nation's fisheries and border protection, customs and law enforcement operations.
 
The march was part of Navy Week celebrations.