This blog is a companion to the Database of Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington

Friday, September 16, 2011

RAN exercises Freedom of Entry to Melbourne

Today the Royal Australian Navy exercised its Freedom of Entry with 'Swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating, bands playing and colours flying' to the City of Melbourne.  The parade commemorates the century of the granting of Royal Assent by King George V to the Navy, and mark the important contrubution that Melbourne and the State of Victoria continues to provide to the Royal Australian Navy.

About 1,300 RAN personnel took part in the march past the Melbourne Town Hall, most of whom are currently serving at HMAS Cerberus at Flinders.  HMAS Cerberus this year celebrates 90 years of training officers and sailers to serve at sea, having Commissioned in 1911.

The RAN first came into being as the Commonwealth Naval Forces on 1 March 1901 as a small coastal defence force.  In 1909, in response to increasing international tensions and the recognition that Australia needed to assume full responsibility for its broader maritime defence, the nation embarked on a significant naval expansion program.  Its aim was to created a national navy capable of both defending Australia's maritime interests and contribute to regional defence.

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