4 May 2016 Squadron to be Granted Freedom of City

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4 May 2016 Squadron to be Granted Freedom of City

A helicopter training squadron adopted by Coffs Harbour is to be granted Freedom of Entry to the city in a spectacular ceremony and march through the CBD on Thursday, May 19.

725 Squadron, which operates from the Naval Air Station at Nowra, is a training unit for Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ naval combat helicopters and was adopted by the city in 2015. The Squadron was first formed in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) more than 50 years ago and has a history in the Royal Navy stretching back to 1943. In 2012, the unit was re-established by the RAN.

“The adoption of 725 Squadron was very positively supported by members of local RSL sub branches and Returned and Ex-Services Clubs in the region. They have already done the city the honour of taking part in this year’s ANZAC Day commemorations,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Denise Knight.

“An event such as the Freedom of Entry ceremony and march will give the wider community the opportunity to enjoy and be a part of this new partnership.”

The Freedom of Entry is embodied in a ceremonial scroll that allows the bearer: ‘To enter the township of Coffs Harbour with weapons drawn, flags flying and drums playing’.

The Freedom of Entry ceremony will begin with the Mayor presenting the scroll to the Squadron at 11am at the Council Chamber. The Squadron will then form up outside the Council Chamber for brief speeches. 

The march will begin at 11.20am from the Council Chamber. During the march the Squadron will be challenged by the Police Local Area Commander and will present the scroll to show they have the right to be in the city. The march will end in Harbour Drive.​

CBD roads closed for the march are expected to be reopened by 12noon. Rolling road closure details​.

In 2005, Council adopted the 805 Navy Squadron, which has since been decommissioned. It was granted Freedom of Entry to the City as part of a welcome parade and civic event in 2006. Prior to this, Council has granted Freedom of Entry to the Local 41st Battalion, Royal New South Wales Regiment.