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Published October 12th 2014
Remember one hundred years ago today
ANZAC legend is most often associated with the landing of Australian soldiers on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey on 25 April 1915. However for many of our ANZAC boys at that time, their adventure began a few months earlier in Albany.
Albany and its harbour viewed from Mt. Clarence Lookout
On 1 November 1914, the first division of the ANZAC troops consisting of 27,000 soldiers left Albany in a convoy of 36 ships to join World War I. Most of them thought they were heading for Europe where they would defend the British Empire in the war. However, they landed in Egypt instead, to continue training for the next few months until they finally "saw action" in Gallipoli and after that the Western Front.
Because of this first convoy, the ANZAC Albany Centenary is not on ANZAC Day next year, but this year, to be commemorated on the few days surrounding 1 November 2014. There are ten official events organized by Anzac Albany organisers (amidst many more organized by local organisations). And these ten official events are expected to attract much attention, not only from the local communities but also from regional, national, and even international visitors.
The ten events are:
1. Stirling Terrace Mess Hall When: 30 Oct to 2 Nov; 10am-10pm Where: Stirling Terrace What: Mess Hall by definition means a place in which meals are served. So faithful to that definition, the Stirling Terrace Mess Hall will be lined with pop-up restaurants and market stalls where you can slake your hunger and thirst while meeting other visitors or viewing the activities in the harbour.
2. National ANZAC Centre Opening When: 30 Oct to 2 Nov; after sunset Where: Princess Royal Fortress Military Museum Precinct What: The official opening of the National ANZAC Centre on 1 November itself will be by invitation only. However, the public can pre-purchase tickets for hourly visit into the centre for the other days in the period of ANZAC Albany Centenary. Pre-purchased tickets are available now online through Ticketek. Ticket prices are: Adults $24/ Concession $19/ Children (5-15) $12/ Children (4 & under) Free. For pre-purchased tickets, there's also an additional ticket handling fee of $4.95. After 2 November, the Centre will be available for general visitation through retail ticketing on site. For more information, visit www.nationalanzaccentre.com.au.
3. ANZAC Projections and Storytelling When: 30 Oct to 2 Nov; after sunset Where: Several landmarks in Albany including the Town Hall, Stirling Terrace Rotunda, St. John's Church, and wall to East of Nurses Memorial Rose Garden What: Stories from World War I will be projected onto some of Albany historical landmarks so that we could learn about life of that time and birth of ANZAC spirit through images, videos, and personal accounts.
4. Ceremonial Sunset When: Fri, 31 Oct; 6.30pm Where: Anzac Peace Park What: Ships from the Royal Australian Navy will arrive in Albany this evening for a ceremonial sunset in King George Sound. Ceremonial Sunset is a traditional ceremony in the history of the navy, where ships lower their flags accompanied by a sunset salute.
5. Princess Royal Harbour Lights When: Fri, 31 Oct; 7pm Where: Albany Foreshore What: The sky above Princess Royal Harbour (around the modern Albany Entertainment Centre) will be lit up with a sound, lighting, and pyrotechnic display.
Fireworks over the Albany Entertainment Centre
6. Troop March When: Sat, 1 Nov; 9am Where: York Street What: Personnel from the Australian and New Zealand Defence Force, as well as representatives from the veteran community will take part in this march, to commemorate the march of the first convoy prior to departure from Albany.
7. Commemorative Service
When: Sat, 1 Nov; 11am Where: Anzac Peace Park What: This is a memorial service to remember the soldiers leaving Albany on this day 100 years ago. All of them volunteers; many of them never returned.
8. Symbolic Departure of Naval Ships
When: Sat, 1 Nov; 1.30pm Where: King George Sound What: Naval ships will depart the harbour to represent the departure of the first convoy. The ships will depart from King George Sound in formation and return back to port.
9. Community Concert
When: Sat, 1 Nov; 6.30pm Where: Centennial Park What: The WASO (West Australian Symphony Orchestra), along with other popular Australian and New Zealand artists will stage a community concert. The concert hopes to highlight the themes of the overall ANZAC Centenary events, namely: Commemorate, Contemplate and Educate. Venue opens from 4.30pm.
10. Naval Ship Open Day
When: Sun, 2 Nov; 9am-3pm Where: Albany Port What: Ships which participate in the centenary commemorations and dock in Albany Port will be open for viewing. There will be some ticketing system used for public to tour the ships and learn about life on-board for the naval personnel. At time of writing (first week of October), tickets are not yet available. Please check the ANZAC Albany's website for the latest updates.