Local pride on display as HMAS Parramatta comes home

The officers and sailors of HMAS Parramatta will proudly take to the streets of their namesake city on Friday 9 September in a ceremonial tradition dating back to medieval times.

More than 140 crew from the Royal Australian Navy Anzac-class frigate will exercise their right to the Freedom of Entry into Parramatta and parade through the CBD with swords drawn and bayonets fixed, to the beat of a marching band and flying Ensign in a colourful display.

It is only the third time in nearly 20 years that HMAS Parramatta has exercised her Freedom of Entry, the highest accolade a town or city can bestow upon a group of service men and women.

“We are delighted to welcome the crew of HMAS Parramatta for a proud display through the heart of our city,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Donna Davis said.

“It’s a great opportunity for our community to experience an age-old tradition first-hand, while being able to show their support and honour the service men and women that proudly serve our country on the ship that bears our City’s name. I encourage everyone to line the streets and give the crew a hearty welcome.”

“The crew, some of whom are from Western Sydney, recently returned home from a tour in the Indo-Pacific. On behalf of our community, I want to take this opportunity to thank them all for their service and am looking forward to meeting them on the day.”

The Freedom of Entry event kicks off at 12pm near the Lennox Bridge, Parramatta, with the Lord Mayor conducting the inspection of the Guard. As the lively march gets underway, police will halt the procession, challenging the Navy’s right to enter the City. The crew will then present a scroll to the officers confirming their right before the parade continues along Church Street and concludes at Centenary Square.

HMAS Parramatta’s latest deployment included port visits and other cooperative engagements with South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Singapore, while also taking part in Operation Argos, the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) commitment to the international effort to enforcing United Nations Security Council sanctions on North Korea.

HMAS Parramatta’s Commanding Officer, Commander David Murphy said it is always a special feeling for a Ship’s company to represent the Navy in their namesake city.

“The current serving members carry the proud history of all who have gone before us including three prior warships who have carried the named Parramatta in service to the nation,” Commander David Murphy said. “We are grateful to be able to embody that legacy to the citizens of Parramatta.”

“I feel immensely proud to be marching in the City of Parramatta whilst serving on the ship named HMAS Parramatta within the AWE colour party,” said Leading Seaman Darren Smith from Ermington.

What: HMAS Parramatta Freedom of Entry Parade

When: Friday 9 September, 10:30am – 12:30pm

Where: Prince Alfred Square, 353D Church Street, Parramatta

Full Program Of Events

10:30am – 11:45am: Performance by NSW Police Band

11:45am – 12pm: Inspection of the Guard

12pm – 12:30pm: HMAS Parramatta Freedom of Entry Parade commences at Prince Alfred Square, including the ‘Challenge’ on Lennox Bridge, continues down Church Street and concludes at Parramatta Town Hall.

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