How much more fun to be involved, our memories firmly planted in action. Albany, Western Australia will officially start Australia's commemorations of the Anzac Centenary. The spotlight will shine brightly over a long weekend, 30 October to 2 November 2014. Albany is one hour by air from Perth or a 4.5-hour drive.
What is it about?
Germany's invasion of Belgium precipitated decisive action from Britain with war being declared on 4 August 1914, Australia therefore also at war.
On November 1, 1914, Australian and New Zealand troops departed in convoy from King Georges Sound, Albany.
The ANZAC fleet was the largest fleet ever assembled in the Southern Hemisphere. Only in Albany, the last Australian port before heading to war, were all the ships seen together. 10,000 men from New Zealand in 10 transports together with 28 Australian troop carriers with 20, 000 men and 7,477 horses. The convey extending for seven and a half miles.
What is Anzac Albany?
The Albany Convoy Commemorative Event refers to the official commemorative events (the Ceremonial Sunset, troop march, commemorative service, ship open day) and Anzac Albany refers to the supporting community events being put on by the City of Albany, State Government and other organisations. Information about the official commemorative events is available at www.anzaccentenary.gov.au and community events at www.anzacalbany.com.au
Where to Start, What to Do?
Katie Noonan, The Waifs and Dan Sultan entertain with WASO at the free community concert
Check out the Anzac Albany website for all the community events including a FREE concert on Saturday starting at 5.30pm (venue opens at 4.30pm). The RAN big band, WASO, Katie Noonan, Dan Sultan and The Waifs will provide the entertainment in an outdoor area next to the campground at Centennial Oval. (Centennial Park West, Albany).
At the heart of the Anzac Albany events will be the Stirling Terrace Mess Hall
At the heart of the Anzac Albany events from 30 October to 2 November will be the Stirling Terrace Mess Hall – an outdoor dining and entertainment precinct for visitors and the local community to gather and enjoy the best of Great Southern produce throughout the weekend. Approximately 40 stalls will provide regional artisan products, coffee, sweet treats, and beverages from the Great Southern.
The troop march down York Street at 9.00am will be followed by a commemorative service at the new Anzac Peace Park at 11.00am.
A symbolic sailing of the fleet at 1.30pm by Australian and visiting navy ships, returning in convoy to be open for visitors on Sunday.
On Friday October 31 a RAN, ceremonial Sunset ceremony will be followed by an interpretive sound, light and pyrotechnic display over Princess Royal Harbour.
Local Supporting Events
Albany and the Great Southern region community groups, schools and organisation's events will carry the themes of commemorate, educate and contemplate. Involvement from these community groups complements the commemorative events embodying the Anzac spirit.
You will no doubt quite rightly be impressed and excited by the official events but you are encouraged to also participate in the complimentary community inspired events reflecting the legacy of the Anzac tradition.
Some of the Local Supporting Events
31 Oct – 8 Nov: Sculpture in the Harbour – Reflections
Princess Royal Harbour
An exhibition of large-scale sculptural works by 15 notable WA artists, displayed in the unique setting of the waters of the Harbour.
A David Stockdale sculpture and letters to Evie,1914 to 1918
30 Oct – 2 Nov: Letters to Evie
Southern Edge Arts
A theatrical piece performed with projections, gramophone and sound, based on a chronological account of the First World War gleaned from letters written to Evie Percy of Tibradden Station (Geraldton) in the period spanning 1914 to 1918.
27 Oct – 14 Nov: School Displays in Shop Front windows
Schools children's artwork related to the centenary of the ANZACS will be displayed in the shop fronts of businesses in the central business district.
Nov 1: The Send Off
During The Troop March from 9.00am
Re-enactment of women and children, dressed in period costume of 1914 era representing the support of families and sweethearts left behind.
29 Oct – 12 Nov: Spencer Park Primary School Art Exhibition: Our Sunburnt Country
Our Sunburnt Country celebrates a love of art, country, community and contribution, featuring sculptures, fabrics and hanging art pieces, created by every enrolled student.
30 Oct – 2 Nov: Gallipoli Movie Night
Great Southern Distillery
Outdoor screening of the acclaimed Australian movie. Proceeds of the ticket and food sales will go to the Ex-SASR service trust.
30 Oct – 2 Nov: Westralian Great War Living History Association 1AIF ENCAMPMENT
Stirling Terrace Mess Hall
An interactive historical display of WW1 uniforms and equipment located within a period military encampment.
Westralian Great War Living History Association 1AIF ENCAMPMENT
Nov 1: Desert Mounted Corps Memorial Service
Desert Mounted Corps Memorial, Mt. Clarence
Albany RSL will conduct the annual memorial service to the Australian Desert Mounted Corps (DMC) on the anniversary of the charge at Beersheba, Palestine, by mounted infantry units, Light Horse Regiments of the 4th LH Brigade and 11th LH Regiment in reserve.
30 Oct – 8 Nov: My War?
Vancouver Arts Centre
A performing arts experience and exhibition inspired by veterans. My War?: provokes a fresh view of war and its influence on our culture.
My War? Laura Westerberg Kael Carnachan photo by Michael Hemmings art direction Annette Carmichael.
31 Oct: PRSC Diggers & Sailors Dance
Princess Royal Sailing Club
A Diggers & Sailors Dance to honour the yacht club members who went off to war in the first convoy.
31 Oct – 3 Nov: Middleton Beach Group Beach Poppies Tribute
30,000 poppies will be placed them in the sand on Middleton Beach in the shape of '30,000' - depicting the number of troops who departed from Albany in the first convoy.
1 Nov: In Conversation: with First World War Authors
Albany Entertainment Centre
A group discussion between leading academic authors in their particular area of expertise who will offer a vast insight into the Anzac era in an entertaining yet reflective manner from humorous tales to humbling feats of bravery interspersed throughout with thought provoking imagery. Presented by Paperbark Merchants.
1 Oct – 16 Nov: One Hundred Postcards
This exhibition features over 100 postcards sent during the First World War by six soldiers serving in the Australian Imperial Force to a home nurse, and offers the visitors an opportunity to contemplate the experiences of those overseas and those back home.
2 Nov: War Horse at the Race Course
Percy Spencer Race Course
An acknowledgement of the equine involvement in our early Wars. The day will include Bush Poets reciting War Theme yarns and poems with links to our gallant horses and other entertainment.
2 Nov: Souls of ANZAC Reflective Walk & Mass
St Josephs Church
A commemorative ceremony to mark the passing of the soldiers who left Albany shores on the Feast of All Souls day. The event will include a walk from St Joseph's Catholic church in Aberdeen Street, following in the footsteps of Laurence Mooney and Padre White to Mt Clarence at the Padre White Lookout before a commemorative mass.
3 Nov – 21 Nov: Katanning Commemorative Display
The 10th Light Horse Display will include photos and memorabilia relevant to local Anzacs.
More information on Anzac Albany
For a full list of events check the Community Event Programme(details may change), or visit www.anzacalbany.com.au or Anzac Albany on Facebook, Twitter with the hashtag #AnzacAlbany and Instagram. For volunteer enquires, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Some of the endorsed events may still require approval from the responsible local government before they can be staged.
Accommodation in Albany and surrounding towns is close to capacity for the Anzac Albany weekend. There are limited camping and caravan facilities available at the Centennial Campground supported by the RAC, visit rac.com.au/anzacalbany for more information. Event organisers recommend contacting Visitor Centres in Albany, Denmark and Mt Barker for details.
Traffic and Transport
Vehicle access to the CBD will be limited and traffic may be congested. You are encouraged to plan your movements and mode of transport. There will be free shuttle buses serving a range of Park and Ride locations. For more information call 1300 765 531 or email email@example.com and visit the "What to expect in Albany" section.
Not just ANZAC Day, but any day
As the last Australian port many troops saw, Albany is second only to Gallipoli as a pilgrimage destination for connecting with the moving ANZAC legend. Make the pilgrimage to Albany anytime; visit the many permanent memorials that pay tribute to those men and women who paid the ultimate price for our country. No other place on earth shares this inestimable link to this poignant moment in time.
The new National Anzac Centre next to the Princess Royal Fortress on Mt Adelaide will be open to the public from October 30 November 2 (excluding November 1). Bookings are necessary before November 3. After that, it will be a permanent memorial. The Centre will be accessible not only physically, but also virtually via the Internet and will highlight the significant role Albany played in the creation of the Anzac Spirit.
The Convoy Walk leads to the Convoy Lookout with a view over King George Sound where troops gathered on ships before departing for the First World War. The Convoy Walk and Convoy Lookout will be one of the attractions within the Albany Heritage Park that visitors can enjoy free of charge from November 1 and is an important addition to the nearby National Anzac Centre.
See the views of King George Sound from scenic lookout at the top of Mt Clarence (the site of Albany's Anzac Days dawn service on the 25 April each year) in which the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial Statue dwarfs you. Look for the shrapnel markings gained before its relocation. Also, visit the Anzac Peace Park, Ataturk Memorial, Padre White Lookout, the Princess Royal Fortress and Albany Memorial Park Cemetery.
The community driven events, complimenting the official, ensures that the ANZAC tradition is a living memory and not a just a once a year event. This is the continuing legacy of the Anzacs: remembering those who serve and those who die for our freedom, to this day.
Photographs courtesy the Anzac Albany Website and the Amazing Albany Website