THERE was a sea of white in Fremantle on Friday as members of the HMAS Stirling, including its band, marched into town, clad with swords and bayonets.
The event was part of the centenary of the Australian submarine service, with the City of Fremantle granting the rights of a Freedom of Entry to the sailors.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the Freedom of Entry was mostly ceremonial, giving the members of the HMAS Stirling the right to parade through the local streets for ceremonial occasions.
‘As a gateway port, Fremantle was the first and last port of call for many of Australia’s armed services personnel in both World Wars, and it was the Fremantle community that had the opportunity to say the first hellos and the last goodbyes to Australia’s sailors and soldiers as they were whisked away on a variety of naval vessels,’ he said.
‘Freo has a strong link to the ocean and this extends to a well-established connection with the navy.
‘We are delighted to welcome naval personnel into our city for what promises to be a very loud and colourful spectacle.’