The city streets will be awash with pomp and pageantry on Sunday as the City of Launceston offers Freedom of Entry to the Australian Air Force and Navy cadets.
The Australian Air Force Cadets No.5 Wing 508 Squadron and Australian Navy Cadets – TS Tamar will be joined by the Australian Army Cadets – 52 ACU Launceston and 67 ACU Youngtown – who will be welcomed as part of the ceremony.
City of Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the ceremony will be particularly spectacular, with more than 100 cadets expected to line the streets and march from Princes Square through to Paterson Barracks.
“I would imagine that many Launceston residents may never have seen a Freedom of Entry parade and conferral ceremony,” Mayor van Zetten said.
“It’s quite visually spectacular and from speaking with those taking part, they are all very excited to be involved in what is a tradition steeped in history.
“It’s also particularly poignant this year because 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the Royal Australian Air Force and the 80th anniversary of the Air Force cadets.
“I would encourage the people of Launceston to venture into the CBD on Sunday morning and take in the atmosphere and revelry of this wonderful event.”
The honour of Freedom of Entry dates back to medieval times, particularly in Europe.
Traditionally, walled cities could make the movement of armed forces particularly difficult. If the troops were considered untrustworthy or unfriendly, the city could and often did refuse to provide shelter and food.
However, gaining the trust of the locals and being honoured with freedom to enter the city was regarded as extremely important.
While largely ceremonial nowadays, Freedom of Entry is the highest honour a city can bestow on the Australian Defence Force in Australia.
This weekend’s Conferral Ceremony will take place in Prince’s Square at approximately 9.45am.
Following this, the Cadet units will then exercise their Freedom of Entry to the City.
The marching personnel and Tasmanian Army Band will form up in Elizabeth Street between St John and Charles streets and in St John Street between Elizabeth and York streets.
At 10.30am, the Parade will step off above York Street and travel to the Brisbane/St John Street intersection, where Challenge by a Senior Tasmania Police Officer will be issued.
The parade will then travel past the Town Hall and give the Salute to the Mayor, before concluding at Paterson Barracks.
WHAT: Freedom of Entry – City of Launceston Conferral Ceremony and Parade
WHEN: Sunday, March 21. Ceremony starts at approx. 9.45am (Princes Square), parade begins following the ceremony (approx. 10.30am).
WHERE: From Princes Square, down St John Street past Town Hall and onto the Paterson Barracks