City News

Crowds greet Fleet Review

The International Fleet Review arrived on Sydney shores last week with hordes lining the harbour to celebrate.

Last Friday, over 50 historical military warships representing various countries entered Sydney Harbour. Later in the day, a Navy helicopter display and RAAF Roulettes commemorated the first seven ships of the Royal Australian Navy introduced to Sydney Harbour 100 years ago.

Hugh Lander – a representative of the Lady Hopetoun, built in Sydney in 1902 – said the naval display was unique.

“It was an occasion to feel proud, as an Australian, and also to reflect on our servicemen and women who have protected us in war and in peace, often at great personal cost of life and limb,” he said.

Prince Harry arrived in Sydney for the celebrations on Saturday. He was greeted by Prime Minister Tony Abbott at Kirribilli House as an official guest of the Australian Government, kicking off a two-day visit for the Fleet Review.

Saturday was perhaps the most notable day for the public, featuring Prince Harry’s first official visit to Australia.

Spectator Karl Schmidt was one of many clamouring to catch a glimpse of the Prince.

“We noticed a large amount of police in ships, jet skis and military ships surrounding a boat, which was interesting as they were shepherding the large amount of private boats out of the way of this boat,” he said.

“We discovered it was Prince Harry coming to dock next to this pier a large crowd had formed around. Harry came out of the boat, which brought a roar from the crowd.”

Mr Lander said Saturday boasted great performances.

“There were many other highlights … and to top it all off, the fabulous Sydney weather and the evening’s fireworks Sound and Light show,” he said.

The 30-minute show incorporated an array of gold, red, green and blue plane-shaped fireworks, while large projections were seen at the Opera House, commemorating 100 years of the Royal Australian Navy. Searchlights accompanied the display along with a soundtrack that included the Australian national anthem.

Memorials and parades continued throughout the streets of Sydney this week, with most ships set to depart on Friday.

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