Albany's ANZAC Weekend

Last weekend the town (city) of Albany commemorated the 100th anniversary of the first fleet of ANZACs leaving for Gallipoli and the Western Front. As many of you probably know, I've lived in Albany for about six years before moving up to Perth for university. I couldn't miss out on such a significant occasion though so headed down for the weekend. This is my #AnzacAlbany experience.

I can't believe I just used a hashtag in a sentence...

(P.S. If you want to make the images bigger you can just click on them)


Thursday

Thursday night saw an exploration of the revamped town, especially around Stirling Terrace and the new town square.

Stirling Terrace 'Mess Hall', where you could purchase expensive food.


alt A couple of video displays were scattered around town. This one is near the information centre with UWA in the background.


alt Albany Town Hall lit up for the weekend in front of the very new town centre.


alt


alt I had a quick chat to the guy and he explained how he was calibrating the systems for the big show on the Friday night. Photos of the light show on the Albany Entertainment Centre (AEC) are further below.


Friday - Afternoon

There were a couple of events on Friday for me. The first one wa in the afternoon with the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial Service and in the evening/night a sunset service and the AEC light show.

alt The commemoration was held at the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial on the top of Mount Clarence.


alt Getting prepped for the event. Or just waiting.


alt Yes, just waiting.


alt


alt The Governor General speaks.


alt


alt The laying of the wreaths.



alt The Governor General addresses the troops after the service.


alt They were pretty excited :)


alt And then he talked to the members of the Albany City Band.


alt


alt


Friday - Evening/Night

At sunset a naval memorial service was had in ANZAC Peace Park. The event was televised (I'm pretty sure) which gave a much better view than most of the people who were actually there. After that everyone shifted over to the nearby AEC for the light show (which, by the way, was awesome). alt Before the service.


alt Even further before the service. Just to give you an idea of what it all looked like behind the scenes.


alt Where all the non-VIPs sat. The VIPs (like me) stood about ten rows back from this.


alt The simulated view for people of seven-feet in height.


alt The actual view for people of my height.


alt


alt It was a pretty big crowd there that night.


alt And it didn't take long for that crowd to move over to the AEC for the light show spectacular.


alt It was quite the show!


There was an Indigenous Australian focus for the firts half of the presentation, which was great to see.


Then the narrative turned to a story of the lighthouse keeper's daughter and her involvement in the first ANZAC convoy that left Albany way back in 1914, some 100 years ago.




Saturday

Saturday saw the major events take place including a televised parade and memorial service at 9am and 11am respectively. Before I go any further though, I must admit that I didn't attend either of those events so you won't see any photos of those. The reasons for not going were: sleeping in, slim chance of getting a better view than what was on TV, and the event at 1pm. The 1pm event was the convoy of navy ships entering King George Sound and the reason this stopped me from going to the earlier events was I had to leave early for it. Since a friend and I were attempting to join the convoy. In a boat. A small boat. A boat that was made even tinier by the large navy ships that did pass us by. Check it out...

Oh, but first lunch.


The convoy moves through the sound.


Breaksea and Michaelmas Islands in the background.





Can you see the camera on the helicopter? We may have got onto TV.


Mount Clarence is on the left, where there was a large/huge/significant crowd of onlookers looking on.



Ship number 153 begins to leave the sound. The military-looking helicopter to the left of screen flew very low over us a few times. Possibly to check that the boat was okay in the rough seas.


The first of the ships passes through Ataturk Straight into Princess Royal Harbour.



You can see groups of people have climbed the rocks in the background. Click on the image to make it larger.


The submarine begins its exit.


Part of the convoy leaves King George Sound. Three ships (one Australian, one Japanese and one New Zealand stayed in town for a coupleof days. Note the lack of a submarine in this image.
__

Sunday

The ships that stayed in town were able to be toured by some 12,000 people. People who had grabbed one of 12,000 odd tickets. I was not one of those people. In the afternoon though I watched a commemorative football match between my old team Albany Sharks and a Navy team. The Sharks won which was great to see.

The two teams and match officials pose for a photo.


TL;DR

The weekend went pretty well. On Thursday we explored the newly done up town centre, Friday there was a Desert Corps Memorial Service, a navy commemoration sunset and a light show on the AEC while Saturday saw the navy convoy enter King George Sound. On Sunday I watched my old team beat the navy side.

Hope you enjoyed the photos! Feel free to comment and share this post around!

JR



Find out more about Proving Sunshine at:
http://www.provingsunshine.com/about/

Joel Gibson

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Perth, Western Australia

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