Submariners prepare to enter Fremantle

Published on Mr Andrew Bujdegan (author), LEUT Kara Wansbury (author), LSIS Bradley Darvill (photographer)

Commander Submarine Force, Captain Matt Buckley, RAN, and the Mayor of Fremantle, Dr Brad Pettitt, hold the Freedom of Entry ceremonial scroll in the Fremantle Council Chambers, Western Australia. (photo: LSIS Bradley Darvill)
Commander Submarine Force, Captain Matt Buckley, RAN, and the Mayor of Fremantle, Dr Brad Pettitt, hold the Freedom of Entry ceremonial scroll in the Fremantle Council Chambers, Western Australia.

As part of the Centenary of Submarines celebrations being held in November, the Royal Australian Navy Submarine Force has received a centuries old honour from the Fremantle City Council.

Freedom of Entry rights to the City of Fremantle are set to be granted to the submariners on 7 November, cementing the long and positive relationship between the city and those who sail the deep. 

In preparation for the event, Commander Submarine Force, Captain Matt Buckley, recently visited the Mayor of Fremantle, Dr Brad Pettitt, to sign the ceremonial scroll.

It is a significant moment to sign the scroll said the Mayor.

“We have such a strong on-going connection with the Navy, and it has made our city a place of significance and an important place in Western Australia,” Dr Pettitt said.

Captain Buckley said the importance of Fremantle had been on display in war and in peace time.

“Fremantle made a relatively unknown contribution as the largest American Submarine base outside of Pearl Harbor during the Second World War, the base was also home to British and Dutch submarines.”

“In peacetime too, Fremantle has a rich maritime history as a place of work and recreation to sailors from all around the world. The Submarine Force is honoured to recognise this strong relationship and be to be granted the Freedom of Entry – a long-held tradition is a momentous occasion in this Centenary year of Australian Submarines,” said Captain Buckley.

The granting of Freedom of Entry is the highest accolade a town or city can bestow upon a group or individual and it is no less readily won or lightly given today than it was centuries ago. In the case of the Navy, Freedom of the City was more usually conferred in recognition of the defence of sea port cities and towns.

A march and official presentation will be held in the streets of Fremantle on 7 November. The march will be supported by members from the Submarine workforce as well as personnel from HMAS Stirling and the Navy Band.

Additional imagery is available at: http://images.navy.gov.au/S20143182.