HMAS Paluma gets nod for final Freedom of Entry March into Paluma

Date published: 28 July 2021

The commanding officers, officers, and sailors of the HMAS Paluma (IV) have been granted permission to conduct one last Freedom of Entry March into the township of Paluma.

The HMAS Paluma was originally granted the Freedom of Entry honour by the City of Thuringowa in 1990, following a visit the year prior.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said it would be a special occasion, marking the decommissioning of the HMAS Paluma, named after the original vessel, that spent the late 1800’s surveying the North Queensland coast.

“Council had been approached by Defence to conduct a Freedom of Entry March in Paluma to commemorate the decommissioning of the HMAS Paluma in September,” Cr Hill said.

“This is quite a significant event and given our city’s proud history as a garrison city and our ongoing relationship with the Australian Defence Force, I’m thrilled that we are able to support this request.

“The HMAS Paluma is the fourth generation of ship named after the original, which was built in 1884 and surveyed the coast of North Queensland during the late 1800s.

“The township of Paluma is named after this vessel, and it’s quite special to have the opportunity to play a role in its final voyage.”

Commanding Officer of the HMAS Paluma, Lieutenant Craig Hamilton said it is an honour and privilege to be able to reconnect with the town before the ship is farewelled.

“The Paluma crew are honoured to join Townsville City Council and residents of Paluma to conduct this historic ceremony for the final time before the ship decommissions in September,” Lieutenant Commander Hamilton said.

“We were last granted Freedom of Entry to Paluma in 1990, the year after the ship commissioned, so it is fitting to conduct a final one as we embark upon our decommissioning journey.”

For more information on the Freedom of Entry March, which will be held on 7 August, visit HMAS Paluma Freedom of Entry.