HMAS Waterhen Freedom of Entry
Navy base HMAS Waterhen will mark its golden anniversary with a ‘Freedom of Entry’ parade through the Municipality of North Sydney on Thursday, 6 December.
During the parade 200 officers and sailors from Waterhen will march through North Sydney with swords drawn, bayonets fixed, band playing and colours flying.
Accompanied by the Royal Australian Navy Band, the parade will commence on Church Street and proceed down Miller Street, North Sydney. There Superintendent Allan Sicard of the NSW Police Harbourside Local Area Command will symbolically challenge their entry.
The Commanding Officer of Waterhen, Commander David Jones, will lead his crew through the ceremony. Commander Jones said granting Freedom of Entry is the highest honour a city can bestow on the Royal Australian Navy.
“Through the Freedom of Entry march, Waterhen will reaffirm its relationship with the great Municipality of North Sydney and celebrate its history of active participation with the local community,” Commander Jones said.
“A number of local schools have been invited to watch the parade and will join us afterwards for a community barbeque hosted by the Mayor of North Sydney, Ms Jilly Gibson.
“My crew is proud of our links to the North Sydney area, where many of us live, work and raise families. The establishment’s 50th anniversary is a significant occasion, and we are pleased to share some of our history and traditions as we celebrate this milestone,” Commander Jones said.
Waterhen is the Royal Australian Navy’s lead establishment for mine warfare. It is home to six Huon-class Mine Hunter Coastal vessels, a busy flotilla of support craft, Mine Sweeper Auxiliaries and the east coast-based clearance diving team.
Around 850 uniformed and civilian personnel work at the base on Balls Head Road.