Australian Army Band exercises Freedom of Entry to the City
Published: 18 Oct 2023 11:19am
In a colourful military spectacle, the Australian Army Band was granted and exercised its Freedom of Entry to the City of Wagga Wagga with a parade down the main street on Sunday, 15 October 2023.
There was plenty of pageantry on display during the event, including the formal granting of the Freedom of Entry by Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Dallas Tout and a traditional ‘challenge’ issued by Riverina Police District Inspector Jillian Gibson.
With swords drawn, band playing, and drums beating, the Australian Army Band Kapooka then marched along Baylis Street, before moving to the Victory Memorial Gardens to host a free concert for the community.
Commanding Officer of the Australian Army Band and Head of Corps of the Australian Army Band Corps, Lieutenant Colonel Glenn Rogers said the band was “deeply honoured” to be granted Freedom of Entry to the City of Wagga Wagga.
“Today (15 October) is a significant day not just for the Australian Army Band, but also, for the Australian Army,” Lieutenant Colonel Rogers said.
“We gather here to celebrate over 70 years of the Australian Army Band, not just for the work we do at the 1st Recruit Training Battalion, but also for the work they do in the community.
“I sincerely thank the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Wagga Wagga for the trust and high regard that you have placed in the Australian Army Band.
“In return, the Australian Army Band is committed to telling Army’s story right here in the Riverina for many more years to come.”
In addition to the parade and community concert, a Mayoral Reception was held at the Civic Centre to say ‘thank you’ to Army’s current and former soldier musicians for their service and sacrifice.
Mayor Cr Tout described the day’s activities as a celebration of the strong relationship between Wagga Wagga and the Australian Army Band Kapooka, as well as the broader Defence community.
“Since 1952 the Army Recruit Training Centre has been home to the Australian Army Band Kapooka,” Cr Tout said.
“Their dedicated service to Army and the community of Wagga Wagga has been instrumental in ensuring a continued relationship that now exceeds 70 years to the people of the city and the surrounding region.
“There are very few, if any, instances where either Council or community request the assistance or attendance of the Australian Army Band Kapooka and they are unable to assist, so strong is the relationship.”
A framed illuminated address featuring the Freedom of Entry to the City was presented to the Australian Army Band, while another will be displayed here in the Civic Centre.