- Monday 23 October 2017
A traditional celebration that occurs only once every four years will provide some unique entertainment for the community when Sunshine Coast Council and the Royal Australian Navy come together for the 2017 Freedom of Entry on Saturday, October 28.
There will be pomp and ceremony on the streets as council and the Navy renew the Freedom of Entry rights in Caloundra as well as renewing their Friendship Agreement.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said the 816 Squadron of the RAN’s Freedom of Entry ceremonial march and challenge, in full military regalia, recognised there is a mutual dependency between the military and the community.
"This year marks the 21st anniversary of 816 Squadron's acceptance of the right to exercise Freedom of Entry to the city of Caloundra," Mayor Jamieson said.
“The Freedom of Entry is the most honourable distinction a city can bestow on a contingent of the Australian Defence Force.
“We cherish the relationship that has grown between the Sunshine Coast, and Caloundra in particular, and the 816 Squadron.”
The celebrations will kick off at 10am with a Navy Band march through Kings Beach and Navy Seahawk helicopter flyovers.
Make sure you stay until the end for a MH-60R Seahawk helicopter handling demonstration and much more.
The 816 Squadron operates 16 Sikorsky S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopters with the primary role to provide anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface surveillance.
816 Squadron Commanding Officer Anthony Savage said the squadron had a unique history with Caloundra.
“In 1996, they participated in training exercises in Moreton Bay, during which time retired members of the Fleet Air Arm living on the Coast initiated introductions between the squadron and the former Caloundra City Council,” Commander Savage said.
“As a result, Caloundra City Council first bestowed Freedom of Entry rights in 1996.
“The squadron has exercised its right to march into Caloundra on several occasions since.
“They also maintain close ties with Caloundra through attending annual Anzac Day celebrations.”
The Freedom of Entry dates back to medieval times when cities granted military units the right to parade through their cities bearing arms, in recognition of the defence of a sea port township, as well as to establish good relations with citizens to earn the privilege of passage.