WW1 centenary to place WA’s Albany in the spotlight in 2014

0 Posted by - 2 November 2013 - Feature stories

The picturesque and historic coastal city of Albany, Western Australia, will be the focus of international attention next year when it hosts the first in a series of commemorative and community events as the curtain raiser to the Anzac Centenary period. Thousands of Australian and New Zealand troops departed from Albany for the First World War on 1 November 1914, many never to return.

Departure of the first convoy in 1914. Image courtesy of the Albany History Collection

Departure of the first convoy in 1914. Image courtesy of the Albany History Collection

King George Sound today. Image courtesy of Andrew Halsall

King George Sound today. Image courtesy of Andrew Halsall

To honour the first ANZACs, the Federal Government, through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Australian Defence Force, in partnership with the Government of Western Australia and the City of Albany, will jointly host and deliver a significant program of events in Albany between October 30 and November 2 2014.

Featuring the combined Australian Defence Forces, the centerpiece commemorative event program will include a Sunset Ceremony, Commemorative Service, Troop March and Ship Open Day. A series of supporting community events are also planned and will confirmed later in 2013. Click here for more about the events.

Convoy troops marching. Image courtesy of the Albany History Collection

Convoy troops marching. Image courtesy of the Albany History Collection

A spectacular lighting and pyrotechnics display entitled Princess Royal Harbour Lights will be visible from 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.

A central aspect of Australia’s Anzac Centenary commemorations is the construction of the Anzac Interpretative Centre within the historic Princess Royal Fortress on Albany’s historic Mt Adelaide. The Anzac Interpretative Centre will also be officially opened as part of the commemorative program.

Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said he believed Albany was one of the most significant places in the world with regard to the Anzac legend because it was the last Australian soil many Australian and New Zealand soldiers ever saw. Mr Wellington said the City’s identity as the birthplace of the Anzac story, an identity long cherished within Albany, was becoming more widely known.

“Albany is about to become a major pilgrimage destination for all people who want to learn about and commemorate the Anzac story, not just during the Centenary period but forever,” he said. “Come November 2014, all eyes will be on Albany, and this series of commemorative events will be an appropriately impressive and respectful tribute to our fallen service men and women.”

With an influx of visitors expected to converge on Albany for this once in a lifetime commemoration, the public are encouraged to book in advance.

Visit Albany to Remember. 30 October – 2 November, 2014. For more details and to plan your visit go to the website, www.anzacalbany.com.au

Useful links:
Albany Historical Society – Click here
Anzac Albany, 1914-2014 – Click here
Australian War Memorial Research Centre – Click here
dhistory, NAA Archives Viewer – Click here
Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Anzac Centenary – Click here
Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Gallipoli 2015 commemorations – Click here
National Archives of Australia, Service Records – click here
National Archives of Australia, SODA – click here

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