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Anzac Centenary – Albany

Albany Anzac 1914-2014

Albany played a key part in the story of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs), so it is appropriate that the city will play a leading role in Centenary commemorations. 

It was from Albany that thousands of Australian and New Zealand troops departed for Egypt and then Turkey in 1914. For many, it was the last time they would walk on Australian soil, with more than 60,000 men killed during the war.

In recognition of this significant role played by Albany, the State Government is working very closely with the Commonwealth Government, the Returned and Services League WA Branch (RSLWA), the City of Albany and other local stakeholders on a program of events and initiatives to mark the Anzac Centenary between 2014 and 2018. Activities will be held in Albany between 30 October and 2 November, 2014.

Featuring the combined Australian Defence Forces, the centerpiece commemorative event program will include a sunset ceremony, commemorative service, symbolic departure of between three to six naval ships, troop march and an RAN ship open day.

A series of supporting community events is also planned, including a major public concert featuring the West Australian Symphony Orchestra with high-profile special guests to be confirmed later this year.

A commemorative lighting and pyrotechnics display entitled Princess Royal Harbour Lights will be visible from multiple vantage points around the harbour, and will include an accompanying musical score and radio commentary.

Albany will be further transformed over the commemorative period with a curated exhibition and interactive event entitled Projections and Storytelling, featuring still images, historical footage and oral histories projected onto Albany’s renowned heritage and landmark buildings.

To cater for the expected influx of visitors, a range of pop-up restaurants and an open air market called the Stirling Terrace Mess Hall will be open over the four day period.

For more information visit the Albany Anzac Centenary website.

To date, the State has committed more than $8 million towards Anzac Centenary infrastructure initiatives in Albany. A significant component of this allocation is the major upgrade at Mt Clarence, which includes enhancement of the memorial infrastructure and visitor facilities, the installation of interpretive elements, and the creation of spaces to be used for education and commemoration. Stage 1 of the work has already been completed with the installation of the Padre White Lookout. The remaining works are due to be completed by February 2014.

Padre White Lookout, Mt Clarence

Image: Padre White Lookout, Mt Clarence

The State is also co-funding and overseeing the construction and fit out of the National Anzac Centre being built at Mt Adelaide. Construction of the Centre has commenced, and will be completed in time for the start of Centenary commemorations in 2014. The Centre will feature a world-class interpretive element which will provide visitors with a unique opportunity to experience an emotional connection with the Australian and New Zealand men and women who were involved in World War I, and understand the sacrifice that they, their friends and families made on behalf of their nation and the world. Importantly, it will also explain in detail for the first time the unique role that Albany played in that conflict.

Fremantle Convoys

Although the majority of Australian troops left from Albany, most of the West Australian troops that served in WWI left from Fremantle.

On 31 October 1914, the day before the Albany convoy departed, two transport ships sailed from Fremantle. The Ascanius carried the WA 11th Infantry Battalion and the Medic carried the WA 8th Field Artillery Battery along with some South Australian troops. The HMAS Pioneer and the Japanese ship HIJMS Ibuki provided escort. On 3 November 1914 they joined up with the Albany convoy at sea.

National Anzac Centre, Mt Adelaide

Image: National Anzac Centre, Mt Adelaide

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