Seventy-five years after the corvette HMAS Maryborough (I) was launched, the crew of Maryborough (II) returned to their ship's namesake city and exercised Freedom of Entry on 17 October.
Fourteen members of the Armidale class patrol boat crew made the trip from Darwin and marched through the City of Maryborough with swords drawn, bayonets fixed, band playing and colours flying.
Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Thomas Mobbs, said the Navy has long-standing links with the community.
“While this is the first time Maryborough (II) has conducted a Freedom of Entry in Maryborough, the Navy has a rich history with the city,” Lieutenant Mobbs said.
“Local shipyard, Walkers Limited built 35 ships for the Navy during the Second World War, and while Walkers has been closed for 40 years, the Navy has only recently decommissioned the Landing Craft Heavy built there."
Petty Officer Shannan Schonewille, who spent a few years living in Maryborough, says it is a great community.
“It was great to have the chance to return to the Fraser Coast and to celebrate the relationship between Navy and Maryborough,” Petty Officer Schonewille said.
Accompanied by a contingent of the Royal Australian Navy band, the parade stepped off at Queens Park and was challenged by Acting Inspector Kevin Thompson. Mayor of the City of Maryborough, Councillor Gerard O’Connell took the salute with Local member, the Honourable Warren Truss and the parade Reviewing Officer, Commodore Peter Laver, on the steps of City Hall.
Following the parade, a service commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Maryborough (I) launch, was held at the cenotaph with a public barbeque lunch hosted by the City to celebrate the historical milestone.
“We were made to feel incredibly welcome; it is clear the community of Maryborough value their ongoing links with Navy,” Lieutenant Mobbs said.
Maryborough is one of thirteen Armidale class patrol boats in service with the Navy.
The ceremony of Freedom of Entry to a city 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. Nowadays the right of Freedom of Entry is a symbolic mark of honour and support from a city to a military unit.
Visit the HMAS Maryborough (I) ship history page at http://www.navy.gov.au/hmas-maryborough-i.