Navy squadron to march on Caloundra City
The words 'halt, who goes there' will echo throughout the City next week when Caloundra City's adopted Royal Australian Naval squadron exercises its right of entry on Saturday, September 16.
The challenge, in full military regalia by the 816 Squadron of the RAN, will be part of the Freedom of Entry to the City ceremonial march, displays and concert to be held at Kings Beach Park to celebrate this traditional event.
Caloundra City Mayor, Don Aldous, said the pomp and ceremony of the official challenge and the march was not to be missed.
"This year celebrates the 10th anniversary of 816 Squadron's acceptance of the right to exercise Freedom of Entry to the City of Caloundra," Cr Aldous said.
"And audiences can expect to be captivated by the event - a traditional celebration that is rarely performed."
The tradition of military units exercising Freedom on Entry to a city dates back to medieval times when citizens were wary about who they allowed within their walled cities bearing arms. Only units that were especially trusted by a City were granted the right to parade within a city, displaying their arms.
Cr Aldous said that the conferring of Freedom of Entry is the most honourable distinction a City can bestow on a contingent of the Australian Airforce.
"The relationship between Caloundra and the 816 Squadron was initiated by a number of retired members of the Fleet Air Arm who now live in this region," Cr Aldous said.
"So when the squadron, bearing arms, is challenged by the Sunshine Coast's District Police Superintendent Robert Goode on Saturday 16th locals can rest assured that the invading force is a friendly one."
The 816 Squadron, based in NSW, forms the backbone of the Fleet Air Arm with one aircraft on permanent rotation supporting coalition forces in the North Arabian Gulf. The squadron has primarily been a unit specialising in Anti Submarine Warfare and has flown a number of aircraft since its formation, currently operating 16 S070B-2 Seahawk helicopters.
One of these helicopters will be on display at Kings Beach Park, along with a range of defence force, cadet and ex-service organisations, Scouts and Guides Australia, Light Horse and Australian Volunteer Coast Guard, throughout the day. Find out how you can join.
Freedom of Entry to the City Program (free event)
Saturday September 16, 2006
9am to 3.30pm: Displays including a Seahawk helicopter at Kings Beach Park
Noon: A demonstration rescue by a Seahawk helicopter and the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard, off Kings Beach.
1pm to 3.30pm: Enjoy the challenge and march, including a flypast by one aircraft, followed by the Queensland Detachment Royal Australian Navy Band in concert, at Kings Beach Park.
Road closures: Temporary road closures will be in place between 11am and 2pm at:
• Western end of Princess Lane
• Northern end of De Vene Avenue:
• A small section of the Esplanade, either side of Kings Beach Park.