Toowoomba exercise Freedom of Entry

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Stefan Stuart (author)

Location(s): Toowoomba, Queensland

HMAS Toowoomba ship's company parade the Freedom of Entry certificate through Toowoomba city. (photo: 28SQN AFID AMB)
HMAS Toowoomba ship's company parade the Freedom of Entry certificate through Toowoomba city.

HMAS Toowoomba exercised her right and privilege of Freedom of Entry on 6 June, marching with swords drawn, bands playing, drums beating and colours flying through the City of Toowoomba. 

Members of the ship's company marched through Margaret and Ruthvyn Streets, then faced a challenge by Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart. 

The parade continued and was reviewed at a by Mayor of Toowoomba, Councillor Paul Antonio. 

The parade was led by Commanding Officer Toowoomba Commander Cath Hayes and was supported by the Navy Band. 

Seaman Boatswains Mate Tom Fairweather, who was a member of the Guard during the parade, said it was a great day.

“I was very proud to be a part of Toowoomba’s Freedom of Entry,” Seaman Fairweather said. 

“This isn’t something you get to do every day; the city was extremely pleased to receive us as we marched through.” 

The Council of the City of Toowoomba held a post parade function at the Empire Church Theatre for the ship’s company and local dignitaries. 

During the function a Welcome to Country was performed by the local indigenous group from the Giabal and Tarowair tribes. 

Commander Hayes said the City of Toowoomba had been very generous. 

“We have been honoured by their hospitality and warm welcome. I am confident that this has strengthened ties with our namesake city and has fostered participation in similar events in the future,” Commander Hayes said.

“The day was a huge success, morale boosting for the ship’s company and a great day out for the proud residents of Toowoomba. 

“The ship’s company enjoyed a few days respite in Brisbane after the parade before her return home to family in Western Australia.”